Why Men Hate Going to Church, by David Murrow
Why is the church full of women and feminized men? There are very few “real” men in church. This is something that I have noticed but not well understood, until now. Our churches cater to women, and consequently, the only types of men that get involved in churches are neutered men. This is not good. The church needs real, un-neutered, big-dicked men. Unfortunately, men are absent.
Women, the men who are watching you don’t care how saintly you are. They don’t care about your traditions. They don’t care about your obligations, they don’t care if you’ve always done it, and they don’t care if your friends are there. They want to know two things: (1) Does Christianity really work? And (2) Is this really the power of God unleashed on earth, or is it just your religious activity?
Men are Powerful, Risk-Takers, Dangerous, and Demanding
The majority of church attendees are women. The relatively small number of men who do attend church are typically sensitive, nurturing, relationship focused, and safe. Men should not be safe! In the Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis famously describes the Lion, Aslan, as “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.” Jesus, Aslan, David, and other Biblical men were never described as safe figures. In fact, Biblical men such as Jesus, David, and Paul were powerful, risky, dangerous, and demanding.
Women are Loving, Relational, Passive, and Nurturing
Church services, songs, and teachings prioritize the feminine traits of Jesus, such as humble, nurturing, forgiving, merciful, loving, and relational. These qualities are not wrong, but they only highlight one half of Jesus’s traits. On the other hand, Jesus was powerful, demanding, dangerous, defiant, and confrontational. For example, Jesus deliberately broke the law which stated no healing on the Sabbath (Mark 3), and he defiantly drove out the sellers and buyers from the Temple by overturning tables and presumably creating a large scene (Matthew 21). Jesus was not weak or passive. But most churched men are both of these things.
Was Jesus Gay?
Through our sermons and worship songs, we often portray Jesus as feminine. We say things like “little, baby Jesus”, and we encourage attendees to have a “relationship” with Jesus. Real men do not want to have a “relationship” with another man. That’s homosexuality. When we use the term “relationship”, a man typically thinks about the sexual relationship that he has with his wife, and he is repulsed by the idea of having a sexual relationship with Jesus. From the Christian’s perspective, we understand that having a relationship with Jesus means being forgiven of our sins and living for God’s glory. However, the term “relationship” does a poor job communicating this to men. Relationships are for women. Men want to follow other men. Therefore, when we speak to men, it is more effective to encourage men to “follow” Jesus rather than to have a “relationship” with Jesus. Men follow men. Men do not have relationships with other men.
Men will follow other men but are typically hesitant to follow a woman. Similarly, women are also more likely to follow a strong man. When strong men are leading the church, both women and men will follow his leadership. However, a feminine male leader will attract primarily women, because men do not want to follow a “sissy.” Therefore, when we highlight only the feminine qualities of Jesus, men feel like they are following a wimp. It’s no wonder men are repulsed by conventional church services.
Church Activities are Feminine
Furthermore, the conventional volunteer opportunities are targeted primarily towards women. Opportunities for women to volunteer are bountiful: nursery, toddlers, child care, elder care, soup kitchen, flower ministry, coffee ministry, prayer ministry, K-12 teacher, hospital visitations, etc. Conversely, the masculine volunteer opportunities are severely limited: parking lot, building and grounds maintenance, and usher. We can’t expect men to get involved when we don’t offer masculine opportunities to get involved. Additionally, forcing men to get involved in opportunities that they are not attracted to only backfires. We should never force a man to get volunteer for an opportunity that he does not feel called towards. This will only repel him from the church and build resentment. The church needs to appeal to masculine qualities, and when the church does, both men and women will flock to its doors.
The Words and Actions of Churches are Feminine
Typical church events involve many activities that men are not comfortable with. We hold hands, discuss relationships, cry, read Bible passages, and engage in sentimental conversations. These activities are ideal for women, but not men. Most men are not as verbally or emotionally agile as women. Therefore, reading Bible passages and participating in verbose prayers is unattractive to men. It’s uncomfortable. Even more uncomfortable than reading and praying together is holding hands with another guy. Two men holding hands is homosexual. Men do not want to have a relationship with other men, and this means not holding hands with other men. So why does the church encourage these activities, and then wonder why men do not want to participate? It’s obvious! The words and actions of churches are feminine.
Christ Combines the Best of Feminine and Masculine Characteristics
There is an obvious problem: churches appeal to feminine qualities and attract feminine men. Manly man are missing from our churches. But what can we do about it? The church is not wrong by highlighting the feminine qualities of Christ, because He certainly embodied these traits. However, the feminine qualities only portray half of God’s character. Jesus was fully God, and He embodied human perfection, which means that he embodied both male and female qualities. Marriage glorifies God, because marriage brings together feminine and masculine qualities, which creates a fuller representation of Christ. Women alone do not embody the entirety of Christ, and similarly, men alone do not embody the entirety of Christ. We need both masculine traits and feminine traits to accurately represent God. By catering towards feminine characteristics, we are doing a disservice to God and not representing His full glory.
Recommendations for Church Leaders
Men like to engage in challenges and adventures, and they like to work towards goals. Here a few specific ideas to engage men:
Men can challenge one another through one-on-one discipleship. In the one-on-one setting, men are more likely to open up, challenge one another, and accept challenges from one another
We can also offer service opportunities for men, such as construction projects
Men leaders/pastors should share stories. This can involve personal stories about business and athletic successes. Or this can involve stories from popular movies. Or this can involve gruesome stories from the Bible
Emphasize strength and power instead of weakness and sweetness
Improve the quality of church services. Men get irritated by mediocrity. Where women see heartfelt and homespun, men see corny and half-baked
Get men outdoors. Get men worshipping outside. Also, get them doing side-by-side activities with one another. Women communicate face-to-face, but men communicate best side-by-side
Encourage men to participate in service opportunities. Men are often more likely to follow Christ through service rather than sermons. Churches can offer free oil changes or offer basic free home services for the elderly and sick
Incorporate science and objects into sermons and lessons. Men are more interested in things than people. Women care about objects, but men care about things. Therefore, we can talk about topics such as how archaeology, biology, engineering, physics, and sciences support Biblical concepts. Personally, I would love to hear more sermons about these topics!