What Keeps Men Out Of The Church?

Robert What? writes:

I read that men are leaving the church in droves due to the feminization of the church. Is this true? A couple of ministers I spoke to admitted they were having trouble getting men to church, but I don’t know if this is part of a wider trend.

This is very much true – that the church has been feminized and men are leaving because of it, and has been a trend for quite some time. Leon Podles, in his work The Church Impotent, describes the beginnings of this feminization. This feminization intensified through the lack of presence of men via the Industrial Revolution, along with the feminized limp-wristed pastors. It has only continued from there, as detailed in many posts on this blog and others. As well, David Murrow has written a book called Why Men Hate Going To Church, which details many of the modern effects of this feminization.

It seems there’s just no place for true masculinity in many places. This is of false teaching and is both by design and unintentional. Some of the factors involved:

1. Men are less deceived by false doctrine.

There is a Scriptural injunction which states that women are not to teach (1 Timothy 2:11-14). The reason given is that in the example of Adam and Eve, Eve was the one who was deceived. This is indicative of most cases regarding women.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly [Other translations: gullible, vulnerable, weak, idle, foolish, weak-minded] women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:6-7)

As Barnes writes in his commentary of 2 Timothy 3:6:

Satan began his work of temptation with Eve rather than with Adam, and the advocates of error usually follow his example. There are always weak-minded women enough in any community to give an opportunity of practicing these arts, and often the aims of the impostor and deceiver can be best secured by appealing to them. Such women are easily flattered; they are charmed by the graceful manners of religious instructors; they lend a willing ear to anything that has the appearance of religion, and their hearts are open to anything that promises to advance the welfare of the world. At the same time, they are just such persons as the propagators of error can rely upon.

The central overriding goal of true Christianity is the conformity of the believer to Christ and the departure from the old life of the world and the flesh. This dichotomy has generated a lot of false doctrine through the solipsistic urgings of women throughout the history of the church. But when men confront such things, such as the feminine notion of a personal relationship with Jesus, there’s a revulsion, even if they don’t know any of the doctrine. Much more so when a request to explain the doctrine is met with an inability to answer, a ridiculous answer or hostility. The response: They walk out. Or they desire a clearly articulated doctrine of what Christianity is about and get the same. They walk out.

2. Many church environments favor women over men.

As I wrote here, the numbers of women in an environment can influence it more towards a feminine nature. This is an unintentional factor due to the simple numbers, when left uncontrolled. This most notably comes out in the decorations, but also in preferences for different things, like the kind of music and the way the sermons are delivered. There’s no quicker thing that says “not welcome” to a man than walking into a place decorated with doilies and flowers, and then singing “Jesus I’m So In Love With You”.

As well, women are favored in the typical “religious things”. Prayers are expected to be long flowery affairs. Sermons are even longer affairs than that. Plenty of sitting, and then…more sitting. With little gotten out of it by the time it is done. When these things happen that are more typical for women than men, then women are deemed more religious than men. This result is quite intentional. Women consume the Churchian fare, but are they really better for it in the sight of God? When men are met with long feelings-sharing sessions that they are unsuited for, but are expected to participate in, what is going to be the response? Exactly.

3. Men are typically denigrated in many church environments.

The root of feminism is the heretical doctrine of bridal mysticism, which states that women are more suited to be “brides of Christ” than men. This line of thinking has led to the heretical idea that men are inherently bad, while women are inherently good.

(2013-10-23) feminist-model

Paired with the idea of chivalry, this leads men to be constantly upbraided while women are left alone to do what they will against God. If a husband divorces his wife, he’s a mean wicked person. If a wife divorces her husband, poor dear that she was pushed into it by that wicked man! Or with pornography, it’s okay for women to look at their copies of 50 Shades of Grey, but how villainous that man is for looking at it at all!

When a man walks into church, only to hear Mark Driscoll (or wannabe) screaming at men for fornicating with women. Meanwhile, the women that willfully fornicate themselves are just victims pressed into it by the men (or don’t ever do it at all). Men know what the score is. Or if they don’t, they’ll find out quickly.

4. There’s nothing of value for men to do in most churches.

When most men undertake something, they want to be involved. This is not a passive thing, but an active thing. Actively understand the doctrine, actively live the doctrine. But when it comes down to things in most churches, the message is always sent to men that they are just not needed – the only thing for them to do is show up, sit down, shut up, and pay the Churchian dues (aka tithe).

When a man seeks something to do, what does he find in most churches? Cookie ministries and sewing ministries. The singing ministry in a choir or otherwise, maybe, but more than likely not. There’s always the chance of a scrap of work on the building once in a great while if the leadership doesn’t contract it out. Anything of a Scriptural role? The ordained (and paid) ministers got those things locked up, along with the elders and deacons. In such an ingrown institution as most churches, that’s all that’s really possible. Things get even worse when he finds women in those typical roles (he should leave then anyway) – they signal straight away where men stand. A man could stick around and hope he gets trusted enough by the women. But men tend to go where they’re needed…Most men just aren’t needed in church environments. There’s better places.

In conclusion, there’s a lot that is done that is counter-productive to the cause of inclusiveness of both men and women in the full work and activity in these churches. Much of what is being done obscures the truth of who and what Jesus was. Reading Scripture reveals a much different Jesus and a much different and more active Church than what we see today – it was a priesthood of all believers, each believer that had his/her work for the Kingdom of God before them, ordained from the Lord by grace. In a vibrant church, there is more than enough for all believers to do in service. It’s no coincidence that there is more true inspiration from the US Marine Corps regarding following Christ (for after all, that community was modeled on true Christian community) than in the average church today.

One of the hopes of this blog is to reveal the true Christ and the true nature of the Church before men – that the light may be revealed. Like most would hate to be misrepresented by others, Jesus is very misrepresented by numerous people, including those who profess to follow Him. My urge to those reading this blog is that they seek Him out to learn who and what He is about, and not seek out men. For those that seek Him will find Him and learn the truth that can set them free.

What Is Churchian Love?

When I get feedback lately, it’s usually laughable.  I won’t dignify them by quoting it, but usually the things that are written come in the terms of “anger” and “hate”, and how I’m “unsaved” and leading people astray by my “legalism”. It’s the same kind of “anger” and “hate” that Dalrock received when he called out the denizens of christianforums.com on their view of marriage as not being Biblically sanctioned. It’s the same kind of thing that made Jenny Erikson furious when the pastor “ruined the surprise” she had for her husband – her frivorce.

You can be as bad as you want to be.  I'll still love you and you don't have to change!
You can be as bad as you want to be. I’ll still love you and you don’t have to change!

So what can we learn? Upholding God’s truth, which frees us, has definitely come out of fashion. But it would also seem love is now something else entirely. We are told by Jesus:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)

So we are to love God first with all heart, all soul, and all mind, first. Jesus goes on to tell us:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. (John 14:23-24)

So the issue is this:
If you love Jesus you will do what He says.
If you don’t love Jesus, you won’t do what He says.

So can one who loves Jesus disregard His commandments when dealing with another? No! For it is written:

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)

So you can’t put anyone else (even yourself) before Him to have life…sounds different than the traditional Churchian practice, doesn’t it? In the previous research, we can see that progressive thought in the church is about the abolishment of dualistic thought – right/wrong, sinful/not sinful. It’s quite “unloving” in the minds of these Churchians to not be tolerant of them. But what is tolerance to them?:

The “tolerance” that the Progressive Left believes in is the “tolerance” of those beliefs that they demand you believe. They are intolerant of other points of view. You are “tolerant” if, and only if, you blindly agree with them. They are not just being intolerant of “intolerance,” but being intolerance of those who do not agree with them.

To be “tolerant” and giving “Christian love” has become the complete denial of truth and the embracing of evil.

To be “Christian” in today’s world involves not only tolerating those who believe differently, but tolerating wickedness of every measure. “Christian love” involves embracing divorce, single motherhood, fornication, rebellion of wives, and general godlessness. These will find a much different reception than they anticipated:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (Matthew 7:21-22)

God’s love is narrow-minded, and intolerant, for there is only one truth, and one way:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Love and salvation does not exist without the presence of truth. Unfortunately, there are those who are professing Christ, whose whole mission is one of deception, for it is written:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

What those who seek to change Truth will find is that they will reap their just reward.

Book Review: The Story

The Story, NIV: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. Max Lucado and Randy Frazee (Foreword). Zondervan, 2011.

The Story_cover

Are you tired of all those chapter and verse numbers in your Bible? Are you tired of all those sections that are just nonsense to you? Are you confused by all those big theological words? Are you tired of just feeling bad when you run across all those Scriptures where Jesus actually demands something of His followers? Are you tired of all those verses that just get in the way of that perfect personal relationship with your Personal Jesus?

Then, let us be thankful that we have the compilers of The Story to lead us out of the darkness we have been in for 2000 years with the Bible. They took the NIV 2011 translation, and then took out that pesky Scripture that just doesn’t affirm the Personal Jesus and just doesn’t make it read well, then added their own comments to make it better! It reads exactly like a novel, now!

And then they made it even better! Your church can get into the program that many churches have undertaken. You too can take 31 weeks in your church, hearing sermons from this brand new and improved BIBLE! You too can discuss it with your church mates, even with your own FAMILY, as they have teen and children’s versions just for them! Dad, Mom, and the children can literally be on the exact same page for 31 weeks!

Let’s not hear it from just me, let’s hear from some other satisfied customers:

“I have loved The Story series. It has been a great journey for me, for my preaching, and for our members. We have had visitors throughout the entire series and have given over 100 books away… Getting God’s word into people hands is always a good thing!”
Tim Halstead, Senior Pastor, New Life Community Church, Odessa, TX

After all, a busy pastor just doesn’t have the time to rightly divide the word of God, does he? Here’s another satisfied customer:

“We have enjoyed walking through the Bible in a chronological manner. In addition, we have LOVED being on the same page as our parents.” Julie Chors, Director of Children’s Ministry, Hosanna Church, Lakeville, MN

And without ever actually opening the Bible? How cool is that?

You too can experience this phenomenon that’s sweeping the churches today! Finally understand what God wants to say to you without actually having to listen to Him! It’s not the Bible, it’s better! Buy The Story today! And thank us by buying in bulk for your whole church!

Rating: 0 out of 10. (It’s more useful as kindling for your winter fire)

Image Source: Amazon.com

On a serious note, to pastors or anyone else thinking of seriously adopting this: As a teacher or leader, you will be judged more harshly before the Lord for being in a place of teaching authority:

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (James 3:1)

The architects of this book have already reaped their just condemnation before the Lord for taking away from the words of the Lord. The Story presents Christianity in a very different light than the Bible, neglecting most spiritual matters, along with the responsibilities of disciples before the Lord. As Scripture says:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 timothy 3:16-17)

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

That this Churchian program has gotten popular is an indictment against those who adopt it. As it is written, you need to:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Futhermore, we live in a time that is wicked. This time is definitely at hand:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

The Story gives shelter to those that do not hold onto sound doctrine, and only furthers those things that enrage God and are an abomination to Him. The Story is not sound doctrine. It is not “God’s Word” or “the Bible” as it is adulterated. If you adopt this, pastor or teacher, be sure that you are only scratching itching ears, and only will reap condemnation for yourself.

To God alone be the glory in all things!

It’s All About the Nickels, Baby

This video is a good parody on the whole idea of Churchianity (H/T Hillsongilmio). When it becomes about the idol of the organization, it’s going to become about perpetuating that organization beyond all else, including over Jesus Himself. Instead of being the Lord, Savior, and King, He simply becomes the Personal Jesus, there to suit their own whims instead of serving Him.

Anything for the numbers and nickels.

I should point out that while most churches aren’t as forward as some of the shysters that really are out there to enrich themselves, they still are in this mold if they’re simply just doing the Churchian thing and don’t know any better. Building these palatial empires requires money, along with the accumulation of employees, paying the bills and maintenance. So they have to adopt this kind of attitude to keep things going, along with the pressure in bringing in this kind of money.

For example, the church I am aware of most financially (who posts those things in the bulletins) requires $15,000 per week to maintain what they’ve done. This is not a huge church, but you get the idea of what kind of money is involved with most of these places.

None of them are wise enough to see the treadmill they’ve put themselves on, so they continue more and more into the religion of Churchianity and the religion of numbers and nickels. More numbers means more givers, and more givers means more nickels. So even if these people have the best of intentions, they still get sucked into this scummy theology where “following Christ” becomes warming a seat and hemorrhaging cash.

The MSM Discovers The Personal Jesus

“Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.” warns Kenda Creasy Dean (nevermind the theological problem) in this CNN article Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians (H/T Cappy Cap).

As the author is pushing a book, a CNN religious writer is pushing that message. But it’s interesting that this is a surprise to anyone. As Cappy writes: “And NOW the MSM and church leaders are finally getting hip to this?” For those of us who have been paying attention, it’s very old news. I’ve written about this since the beginning of the blog, as well as other bloggers. George Barna wrote about this trend in his book Generation Next: What You Need to Know About Today’s Youth, back in 1995.

Your own Personal Jesus!
Your own Personal Jesus!

The Personal Jesus has been a known factor for quite some time for those who will acknowledge it. In the way the article describes it:

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.

As the relationship that most churches preach of Jesus is shaped by the person involved. Jesus is there to service the person, make them feel good, and justify them in all that they do. Moral relativism is the common belief of today, where there is no absolute truth, nor there is anyone defending it. As Barna writes, 3/4 of both teens and adults reject the notion that there are absolute moral truths, and 4/5 reject the idea that anyone can know for certain what truth is. (1)

In such an environment, it should be no surprise that there is a movement towards the morally relative Personal Jesus, consistent with Gnosticism. As a result of moral relativism, where there is no right and wrong, or any dualistic notions, it should not be a surprise that the author observes:

“If teenagers lack an articulate faith, it may be because the faith we show them is too spineless to merit much in the way of conversation,” wrote Dean, a professor of youth and church culture at Princeton Theological Seminary.

When what is sin for you is not sin for me, you get a whole host of whitewash, as Barna documents in his book. He writes that 4 out of 10 teens hold a view different than the Orthodox view of God. (2) 55% of teens believe in relative theism, where they believe all faiths worship the same God. (2) The strongest statement is where teens reject the idea of inflexibility and hold a belief whereby they are allowed to deny or reject principles of the faith at will. (3) Both Barna and the author couches it in these terms:

Teens want to be challenged; they want their tough questions taken on, she says.

The problem is not that teens are being challenged, it’s that the whole group is not being challenged in the right ways. Absolute truth isn’t taught, nor upheld. As Barna writes (4):

* Six out of 10 say there is no such thing as absolute truth.
* Nine out of ten say that right and wrong depend on the individual and the situation–that is they espouse moral relativism.
* One out of four deny the notion that acting in disobedience to God’s laws brings about negative consequences.
* One out of three say that as long as something works, you can be sure that it is morally or ethically right.
* More than 4 out of 10 say that Satan is just a symbol of evil, not a living force.
* One out of three contend that Jesus Christ committed sins while on earth.
* Three out of 10 say that all faiths teach the same lesson.
* Half say that people can earn their way into heaven through good works.

The problem is not an enthusiasm gap, but a holiness gap. When the Church does not reflect the light of God, do not be surprised that truth goes by the wayside. It has done that at the moment when Christians decided to start serving the world instead of serving Christnumbers and nickels. As the author writes:

She says pastors often preach a safe message that can bring in the largest number of congregants. The result: more people and yawning in the pews.

“If your church can’t survive without a certain number of members pledging, you might not want to preach a message that might make people mad,” Corrie says. “We can all agree that we should all be good and that God rewards those who are nice.”

But is the answer to weep in sackcloth and ashes before the Lord and walk in His ways again and not each of our own? Given the person we’re dealing with, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s not:

She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips.

A parent’s radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.

But it’s not enough to be radical — parents must explain “this is how Christians live,” she says.

So given the answer, it’s not to please God, but to please the teens in the light of Churchianity. How Christians live is to separate themselves from the world and walk towards Christ, not go on short-term mission trips!

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6)

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2)

It should not be a surprise when you see men and women, claiming to be of Christ, running off to please men, that sheer anarchy results. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

(1) Generation Next: What You Need to Know About Today’s Youth by George Barna Page 31-32.
(2) ibid page 76. (3) ibid page 94-95. (4) ibid page 104-105.