Why men stay away from the feminized church

On the Biola University site, I found a book review of a new book by David Murrow called “Why Men Hate Going to Church”.

Here’s the problem:

There are generally more women than men in every type of church, in every part of the world, according to church growth experts like Patrick Johnstone, author of Operation World. A traditional explanation is that women are more spiritual than men. But the leaders of this new movement suggest that the church’s music, messages and ministries cater to women.

…In America, among evangelical churches, 57 percent of members are women and, among mainline Protestant churches, 66 percent are women, according to a 1998 book American Evangelicalism (University of Chicago Press).

The problem is that the church has become feminized, and men don’t like that, and so, they leave.

Here’s more:

To describe many women, Murrow lists traits like “relational,” “nurturing” and “peace-making.” He describes many men as “goal-driven,” “competitive” and “adventurous.” These differences show up in the types of movies many women and many men like: romantic vs. adventure films, Murrow said. In sum, women thrive when secure, and men thrive when challenged, he said.

As Christianity became more feminized, it began to focus more on producing emotional satisfaction. But men want something different.

The article goes on to quote one of my favorite Christian writers, Nancy Pearcey, an expert in apologetics and theology.

…many people think of church only as a nurturing place that addresses personal needs, Pearcey said. Think: sitting in circles, sharing feelings, holding hands, singing softly, comforting members. An example of the feminization of the church is its music. Typical praise songs refer to Jesus as a Christian’s lover and praise his beauty and tenderness. Rarely do they praise his justice or strength, or refer to him as the head of an army leading his church into spiritual battle, like “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

All of the outward facing disciplines within Christianity, such as apologetics, theology, ethics, etc. are de-emphasized, censored or resisted in feminized churches. There is no place for rationality, moral judgments and boundaries, debates and disagreement, confrontations and persuasion, or other manly Christian practices.

Christianity is evangelical, and evangelism takes study and preparation, which culminates in confrontations and discussions. The object of these discussions is not to win the argument. It is to win the person over to your side. So facts and arguments play a huge role in  evangelism, but there has to be gentleness too, if you actually want to win. And this is what Christian men are supposed to do. But does the church support it?

Another turn-off for men is touchy-feely sermons. Pearcey said the modern church stresses emotions and inner spiritual experiences while neglecting the intellectual side of the faith.

“The more traditionally masculine side of Christianity enjoys crossing swords with hostile secular worldviews. So, as long as Christianity appeals to the emotional, therapeutic, interpersonal, relational areas, it’s not going to appeal to men as much as to women,” Pearcey said.

Churches should engage men’s intellects to help them see the relevance of Christianity to the “real” world of politics, industry and business, Pearcey said.

“We have to recover the notion that Christianity is true on all levels, not just for your emotional life or repairing relationships, as important as those things are,” she said.

Christian men love apologetics and they also love theology, philosophy, ethics, science and history. We love competition. Anything testable that can be debated! Anything where there is a clear winner and loser.

Many churches emphasize Jesus’ softer teachings, like his love and his desire to save, and they ignore the doctrines of sin and hell, according to Podles. But men dislike liberal Christianity — “a mild religion of progress and enlightenment” as opposed to a battle between good and evil, Podles said.

Men want to expend their lives for a great cause, even if it involves risk, according to Murrow. He said that’s why the U.S. military’s “Army of One” campaign was effective. But American churches rarely teach about Christian suffering and martyrdom, Murrow said. Instead, today’s Christianity is presented as an antidote to these things, he said.

And men thrive on risk, adventure and achievement:

“Men are more attracted to religion if it presented as a quest, an adventure, a heroic exploit,” Pearcey said. “They want something challenging, bracing, demanding.”

To reach men, churches should stress the cost and dangers of following Christ — including Christians’ conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil, according to Podles.

Yet, men should be reminded that the sacrifice won’t always be a “huge, glorious display like William Wallace stepping out on a battlefield,” Erre said. Many times it will be staying in a troubled marriage, raising a handicapped child, or working a hated job to provide for a family, he said.

Many women believe that the purpose of Christianity is to be happy and to make others happy by not discussing controversial things like religion. They do not attach the same importance as men do to the duty to be an informed ambassador for Christ, trained in apologetics, and able to persuade others about God’s existence and character. They do not believe that the Lord’s reputation needs to be defended in public in the same way that men do.

Many women also don’t want to be confronted about their beliefs by informed men, because their beliefs are based more on intuition and emotion. They would rather be accepted and affirmed – and so they favor men who don’t know much about the details of Christianity. So manly Christian skills; theology, apologetics, ethics, philosophy, history, science, etc. are not valued in the feminized church.

Touchy-feely sermons come from touchy-feely pastors. A feminized church tends to attract more “gentle, sensitive, nurturing” leadership,” according to Pearcey.

“If religion is defined primarily in terms of emotional experience and is therapeutic, then who is it going to attract as ministers?” she said.

Pearcey said to consider a typical youth pastor.

“He’s really into relationships, very motivating, but is he teaching good apologetics? Is he teaching youth to use their minds and to understand deeper theological truths? At least the ones I’ve known haven’t,” she said. “Today, the common trajectory is for youth pastors to become senior pastors,” she added.

Maybe women should be more sensitive to male needs and character, and more concerned about what the Bible teaches about the the role of apologetics in the Kingdom of God.

If you want to know what Christian men look like, check out this profile of Christian philosopher and apologist Paul Copan on Truthbomb Apologetics. If you want to see one tough and effective Christian lady, visit Denyse O’Leary’s blogs: Post-Darwinist, Mindful Hack and Colliding Universes.

UPDATE 1: Here is an essay I saw on Truthbomb about the need for apologetics, by Norman Geisler.

UPDATE 2: Welcome visitors from the Anchoress! Thanks for the link. Forgive me if this post was a bit mean, but consider it a cry for reconciliation between men and women in the church. I recommend that everyone make the Anchoress a daily read, as she integrates her faith very well with the issues of the day!

UPDATE 3: I noticed this post linked over on the Anchoress. It talks about what men like and don’t like in the church. But keep in mind that this is a poll of men ALREADY in the church, so these ones are more accepting of the feminization of church already. The men outside the church would be less likely to put up with the feminization of church.

Just one quote:

Sixty per cent said they did not like flowers and embroidered banners in church, while 52 per cent did not like dancing in church…Nearly three quarters, or 72 per cent, said their favourite part of a service was the talk or sermon.

There’s a list of hymns that men do like, as well.

How redistribution of wealth kills the entrepreneurial spirit

There is a perception, especially on the left, but also on the “big government” right, that the federal government should be responsible for redressing every inequality that occurs in society. This is true whether the person brings misfortune on themselves or whether it is accidental. The problem with this wealth redistribution is revealed when you think about the incentives this introduces to the producers and the victims.

  1. Government does not transfer wisdom, skill or responsibility from producers to victims
  2. Government transfers money from producers to victims
  3. Being productive involves risk and hard work on the part of producers
  4. Receiving money involves ingratitude and rationalization on the part of victims
  5. If the government confiscates a large enough portion of the earnings of the producers, they stop producing
  6. Every dollar taken from producers is a dollar less they have for engaging in their productive plans, (e.g. –  running a business or raising a family in a responsible way)
  7. The more money is that transferred to victims, the more the frequency of bad behavior increases – because being a victim is easier
  8. If you subsidize being a victim, you get more of it
  9. If you tax production, you get less of it

“Going Galt” is named after the character John Galt in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugs. Galt is an industrialist who withdraws from the economy when faced by punitive tax rates and burdensome regulations. Going Galt refers to slowing down or ceasing production, because the risks and effort involved in producing are not worth the portion of the earnings that producers keep after taxes are redistributed to the victims.

The idea was first brought up afresh by Dr. Helen Reynolds in October 2008 on her blog Ask Dr. Helen. A more recent discussion of the phenomenon is here at the Washington Independent web site.

Excerpt:

“Just this weekend,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) on Wednesday in an interview with TWI, “I had a guy come up to me in my district and tell me that he was losing his interest in the business he’d run for years because the president wanted to punish him for his success. I think people are reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ again because they’re trying to understand what happens to people of accomplishment, and people of talent and energy, when a government turns against them. That’s what appears to be happening right now.”

The plot of Rand’s novel is simple, despite its length — 1,088 pages in the current paperback edition. The United States is governed by bureaucrats, “looters” and “moochers,” who penalize and demonize creative people. The country is in decline because creative people are disappearing — they have followed the innovative John Galt to a mountain enclave, “Galt’s Gulch,” where they watch society crumble. Creativity has gone on strike (the working title of the novel was “The Strike”), and the engine of capitalism cannot run without it.

For Campbell, this is a powerful and relevant story. The congressman calls “Atlas Shrugged” an “instruction manual,” and inscribes the copies that he gives to interns. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, also gives copies of the novel as gifts and refers to it to make the case against President Obama’s policies. “It’s an audacious scheme,” said Ryan in his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference last week. “Set off a series of regulatory blunders and congressional meddling, blame the free market for the financial crisis that follows — then use this excuse to impose a more intrusive state. Sounds like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel.”

Michelle Malkin is posting a lot of messages on her blog from people who are suggesting other ways to Go Galt.

Excerpt from one of the producer’s letters:

It is now fashionable and politically expedient to extend blame for the current financial crisis on greedy businesses and predatory lenders. The reality is that individuals and poorly managed businesses were responsible for the bulk of the problems. Government also played a role – and it was both parties – that encouraged and supported unsound business practices. Now the Government “must” step in to “save” these poor people from losing their homes, and “save” these “too big to fail” financial institutions. What about those of us, and those businesses, that chose to act responsibly? Who chose to live within their means? Who chose sound financial decisions over high risk behavior?

Enough is Enough. Let them all fail. It is not too late. I don’t care about the homeowner that borrowed more than they could afford and now find themselves potentially without a home and bankrupt. I don’t care about the businesses that overlooked sound financial decisions in the name of short term profits. We all make choices in life and it is time to let those that made the bad choices live with their decisions and finally reward those that chose to act responsibly. It has come down to this – either we let those that made the bad decisions fail, or we end up sacrificing our nation, our national identity and our very way of life.

Related posts.

Obama’s first 50 days: worst president ever

Oh, there’s no doubt that he’s the worst president ever. Gateway Pundit has the re-cap, in point form.

Excerpt:

** He’s lost at least 3 administration nominees due to tax fraud.

** He’s promoted a tax cheat to run the IRS and Treasury.

** The Dow has dropped faster under Obama than any other new president in 90 years.

** Obama’s budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, and adds more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.

** Obama managed to spend more than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

** Obama will quadruple the deficit this year.

** Cap & trade was introduced that will cost America 4 million jobs and cost Americans at least $700 per family per year.

That’s just about some of the spending and the socialism. Click here to see more about his energy policy, foreign policy, social policy, trade policy. We’re doomed. We’ve elected an unqualified socialist who does not understand anything about how the world works, on any level.

Also, Gateway Pundit reports here that Obama wants to sign a trade deal with communist Cuba after rejecting a trade deal with our capitalist, pro-American ally Colombia recently. Meanwhile, Canada has a free trade deal signed with Colombia already.

Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn defend free market capitalism

Representative Michele Bachmann
Representative Michele Bachmann

UPDATE: For all the people that are searching for Michele Bachmann, this blog is FILLED with stories on Michele Bachmann!!!  Here is a good summary of some of her best material. Here’s her latest video.

More recent posts

Here are my recent posts on Michele Bachmann:

Videos of Michele and Marsha defending capitalism

Here’s Michele Bachmann, on the floor of Congress, explaining economics and defending free market capitalism. She touches on many important topics: intentions versus incentives, learning from past economic failures, American exceptionalism, economic growth, private ownership of property, the rule of law, private contracts, tax law, the law of unintended consequences and the “forgotten man”.

Well, if we’re going down as a nation, it won’t be because no one understood what was happening. Michele knows – because she is a trained tax lawyer and she understands economics and business – she and her husband Markus own a small business. They have 5 children and 23 foster children, so they know enough not to saddle the next generation of Americans with debt. Life experience matters.

And then there is another “M.B.” in the house, Marsha Blackburn.

Representative Marsha Blackburn
Representative Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn also voted against porkulus 1 and porkulus 2, and the cramdown bill:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today voted against passage of H.R. 1106, a housing bill that will allow bankruptcy judges to “cramdown” the principle on a mortgage, change the interest rate, or extend the life of the loan. The consequence of this legislation for new homebuyers and homeowners who have lived within their means is dire. As banks attempt to absorb the cost of crammed down mortgages, they will be forced to raise fees, increase down payment requirements, and increase interest rates for potential home buyers.

“This is yet another bailout for bad actors. It rewards those that gamed the system or knowingly lived beyond their means at the expense of responsible taxpayers. I would have been more comfortable with a bill that helped those who legitimately fell on hard times and excluded unscrupulous borrowers and lenders.” Blackburn said.

“Some of my colleagues claim that this program is cost-free. It isn’t. Struggling banks, who are at the core of our economic problems, will be forced to rebuild their bottom line somehow in order to remain solvent. That cost will be paid for by the first time home buyer who will now have a much harder time getting a mortgage as banks insure themselves against risky loans. It will be paid for by responsible home owners who will watch their bank fees increase as bankruptcy judges cram down home values in their neighborhood.”

Congressman Blackburn supported proposed Republican changes to the bill that would have prohibited taxpayer assistance to any borrower that misrepresented or lied about their income on a mortgage or to any lender that failed to follow proper underwriting standards.

Mary Fallin and Sue Myrick, two of my other favorite representatives, also voted against all 3 of these socialist bills. Not only are these 4 representatives fiscal conservatives, but they are also pro-life.

You might remember that Sue was the one who wanted to revoke Jimmy Carter’s passport when he met with Hamas.

UPDATE: More Michele Bachmann here and here. She is also Mrs November in a new 2010 calendar. A full list of all of my many posts on Michele Bachmann is here.

Debt and the return of real men?

Captain Capitalism posted this rant which is an excellent, although very snarky, read. He starts with the fictitious case of Cindi, a suburban princess whose every need was provided for by her hard-working Daddy. But Daddy had to take on enormous amounts of debt in order to buy Cindi everything her heart desired.

Much like debt misled suburbanite Cindi to think free Audi’s, nightly dinners at Applebee’s, free food clothing and shelter, and avoiding any real career that requires math was “standard,” the amount of debt the government and economy as a whole has taken on has brainwashed nearly 3 generations of Americans to be similarly overly optimistic as to just how easy their lives should be. Debt has allowed pretty much every American to live above their means of support. Debt has allowed pretty much every American to live a life that does not produce the wealth necessary to support it. If you can’t afford a car, take it out of your home equity line. You don’t like math or science? That’s alright, piss away some of your dad’s money majoring in political science. Don’t have a down payment for a house? Don’t worry about it, we’ll loan you 100% of the money anyway. But the problem is not just the obvious unsustainability of this behavior, but even worse is how it corrupts and destroys society’s ability to live in the real world.

And where has this avoidance of math and science, normalization of debt and instant gratification led us?

You think the divorce rate in this country isn’t due to people being spoiled rotten brats and thinking marriage is some kind of trial balloon?

You think the childish and [very bad] behavior of people having “kids” and then dumping them off at daycare to have somebody else raise them because the kid was too much of a burden for them to handle, but they still wanted them anyway would have flown during the frugal 40’s?

Would teenage pregnancy even exist if the government wouldn’t perpetually bail these losers out because the government can perpetually “rollover” its debts and borrow more to finance a litany of social programs?

Would you have such a volume of frivolous lawsuits and parasitic lawyers in this country driving up the cost of doing business and destroying the standards of living?

Would you have seemingly endless legions of “environmentalists”… who have no real talents or skills, but find themselves pointless, effortless, made-up crusades to give their meaningless lives meaning at the expense of our freedoms and $3 per gallon gas?

He goes on to argue that the worsening economy will be a boon to real men. The decline of government revenues will reduce the availability of social programs to “solve” social problems that result from poor decision making. (And by poor I mean lacking wisdom, lacking respect for the moral law).

When Jimmy gets Cindi pregnant at 15 and the government is out of money, there will be two real men (the father of Jimmy and the father of Cindi) with shotguns and baseball bats ensuring Jimmy gets a job, goes to school and marries Cindi, not for Cindi’s sake, but for the child’s sake.

When somebody breaks into the house and the cops are too understaffed dealing with the crime wave that happened once the state released all those prisoners to “save money,” he’ll be the one shooting the burglar to protect himself and his family.

When a woman wants to get married and have children, the real man will wait until he’s financially stable, the country has a future, and make sure he is able to provide the kid a decent upbringing ALL THE WHILE MAKING SURE HE DOESN”T GET DIVORCED.

I am worried that the rising tax rates and inflation will cause men to withdraw irreversibly from any enterprising behavior. Big government may help people to feel more secure about making poor decisions. But responsible men fear higher taxes and punitive divorce courts… they are less likely to work hard and to marry.

Real men are just not in demand so long as marxist-feminist welfare state is there to provide everything that real men used to be sought after for. And the big appeal of the state is that it doesn’t ask for anything in return from its dependents.  But why should real men work to pay for social programs to fix the problems of other people?

One of my best friends, Andrew, got married to a fabulous Christian woman who spent time as a missionary in Russia. Men are in a terrible state in Russia – there are few real men. Her experience in Eastern Europe really helped her to understand how important the right man is for the responsibilities of marriage and parenting.

She chose to marry someone who would not only care for and provide for her, but who also understood Christian beliefs and would be able to pass them on to her children in an informed and persuasive way. But today, there is no vision for men as husbands or fathers, nor any vision of marriage as a worldview-incubator for children.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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