There is a discussion going on at Titus1:9 concerning the increase in the “feminization” of the Church and American Christianity focused on an article from the United Methodist Church. Interestingly, a lot of the criticism centers on the American Evangelical praise music that seems to romanticize our relationship with God – one person referred to the music as depicting “my girlfriend Jesus.”
There are elements of misogyny in some comments, but in general it is an interesting debate and one that we should be aware of. Too many articles have appeared lately in the national media on the crisis of the American male, particularly boys. In the Church, the fact is that fewer and fewer men are participating in organized religion – at least in Christianity. What is the answer? There are probably lots of answers that do not require us to look backwards to some fictionalized “glory days,” but it will benefit us to pay attention to the social problem – even as it moves into the Church.
When the rubber hits the road, however, the only people to blame for menâ€™s disassociation with American religion are men! We men can try to blame-shift all we want, but if we want to be real men we will have to face reality and admit that individually, each guy that stops participating in the Church does so by his own volition. Quitting is not the fault of women or romanticized worship music, as much as we may not like the music. Claiming that the fault rests with women or the feminization of the church just sounds misogynist, in my humble opinion. Just be. Or, as the very manly ‘Nike’ cajoles us to “Just do it!”
Here is a poem submitted by one of posters at Titus1:9:
re: manly Christianity – I love this part of a poem by Adrian Plass(e?)
â€œHe said, â€˜Look, Iâ€™m not asking you to spend an hour with me,
A quick salvation sandwich and a cup of sancted tea.
The cost is you, not half of you, but every single bit.
Now tell Me, will you follow Me?â€™ I said â€˜Amenâ€™â€¦ no, I quit.
â€˜Iâ€™m awfully sorry Lord,â€™ I said, â€˜Iâ€™d like to follow You,
But I donâ€™t think religion is a manly thing to do.â€™
And He said, â€˜Forget religion then, and you think about my son.
And you tell me if youâ€™re man enough to do what he has done.â€™
â€˜Are you man enough to see the need? Are you man enough to go?
Are you man enough to care for those that no one wants to know?
Are you man enough to say the things that people hate to hear,
And battle through Gethsemane in loneliness and fear?
And listen, are you man enough to stand it at the end,
The moment of betrayal by the kisses of your friend?
Are you man enough to hold your tongue? Are you man enough to cry?
And when the nails break your body, are you man enough to die,
Man enough to take the pain and wear it like a crown,
Man enough to love the world and turn it upside down?â€