Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why Men Hate Going to Church

By David Murrow,

This revised version of the original book offers churchgoers a reality check. Church emasculates men, and offers an environment rich in feminine thinking and visual cues. It therefore repels men. Yet without the risk-taking, energy, and skills that men possess, churches decline.

Through observation, case studies, anecdotes, and common sense, author David Murrow tries to shake things up. He outlines the deep historical roots of feminine Christianity, going all the way back to the Middle Ages.

Everything about the way churches function, the big things and the little things, pleases women and ignores men. This means that men just don't have the skills that match churchgoing. Churches need soft and cuddly Sunday school teachers and musical people who like to sing for 30 minutes. They ask for people good at establishing and maintaining networks of relationships. The hug, weep, pray for 10 minutes, hold each other, and share their feelings. All terrible things for men.

This analysis is most powerful when Murrow suggests activities churches could do that would utilize men's skills.

The language of the churches is also feminine. Intimacy, including passionate intimacy, with God is highlighted. Homoerotic images are often evoked, such as resting in the arms of Jesus. What man wants to hear this?

What man says to another man, "Let's have a personal relationship." Why would having "a personal relationship" with Jesus be appealing for a man?

Murrow keeps things real, often showing how men simply do not fit into the churches. To borrow from Ronald Reagan, "Men didn't leave the church. The church left men." Murrow shows how this has happened, and offers ideas on a better way.

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