Thursday, September 07, 2006

WIR -- Why Men Hate Going to Church

Great book by David Murrow. This quote is from page 15.

Films reflect our fantasies. Men fantasize about saving the world against impossible odds. Women fantasize about having a relationship with a wonderful man.

So what does today's church emphasize? Relationships: a personal relationship with Jesus and healthy relationships with others. by focusing on relationships, the local church partners with women to fulfill their deepest longing.

But few churches model men's values: risk and reward, accomplishment, heroic sacrifice, action and adventure. Any man who tries to live out these values in a typical congregation will find himself in trouble with teh church council in no time.

This is why Greg hates to go to church. He finds it boring and irrelevant because he doesn't see his values modeled there. He find church dull for the same reason he finds chick flicks dull: neither one reflects his masculine heart. Greg has no desire to fall in love with a wonderful man, even one named Jesus.

So who is right, Greg or Judy? Should church be more like a romantic comedy or an action/adventure movie? Put another way, is the purpose of the Christian life to find a happy relationship with a wonderful man, or is it to save the world against impossible odds?


Any thoughts? Reactions? What do you think?

2 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

Having not read the book myself I can only assume that the author nuances his analysis much more that this broad "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" metaphor. Generalizations can be helpful, but aren't usually as clean and accurate as we hope.

Do men not have longings for authentic relationships? I suspect that much of any man's lack of interest in relationships is in keeping with cultural expectations of rugged individualism and self-assured self-reliance--attitudes that need to be challenged by the Church.

Of course no man is going to be comfortable with romantic-comedy Jesus, but we can't escape that being a Christian involves relationship--with God and with other believers.

On the other hand, while the Gospel does involve saving the world, it isn't exactly action movie like. The Christian way of saving the world is through our weakness and God's strength.

That being said, I hope that the author has some good, practical advice about how the church can improve its ministry to men.

10:19 AM, September 07, 2006  
Blogger W Sofield said...

Good points, steve. So far, the book has dealt in generalizations exclusively. I completely agree with you about the limitations of generalizations, but for those who understand the limits, they can be quite helpful, I think.

Much of our culture's "masculinity" needs to be challenged, for sure. But there is a difference between genders. Throughout all history and geography, men (in general) are more efficient, goal-oriented, competent and competative than women. I don't think this means that men are more sinful, but many churches act that way.

I can think of many people throughout history (and in the Bible), who lived their lives like an action movie -- well, short glimpses were that way.

The Christian life should require adrenaline at times, not just warm fuzzies (though they are important too). I think I'm interested in seeing a better balance -- more adrenaline and warmer fuzzies.

11:47 AM, September 07, 2006  

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