Men have a natural need and understanding for conversion throughout their lives, while it is relatively unimportant in women’s lives. Unfortunately for the evangelical churches, once the men convert they find themselves in environments that are the very definition of effeminate. I think of the Promise Keepers, the evangelical “men’s movement”, which gets men together in football stadiums so they can hug each other and cry. Good Lord! Revivalism does convert a lot of men to evangelicalism, who are then driven away by the normal effeminacy.
Podles recommends that churches emphasize the masculine struggle and victory of Jesus. He says religion which speaks to men will use the language of warfare, of black and white contrasts, of those paradoxes (you must die in order to live) which men automatically grasp, of the transcendence of the self through self-sacrifice. Its worship will be serious rather than happy-clappy. He cites the need for some sort of initiation ritual for young men. If Christianity isn’t to become some sort of amiable ladies club, we have to rediscover the masculine heart of our Faith.
– From “Fighting the good fight for the hearts of men” by J. Michaelon June 7, 2009
How do I begin to answer this?
It seems that what Dr Poodles ought to really study is not the emotional disposition of men in the church, whether it is nearly feminine in nature or not, but rather the real ratio of sermons depicting triumphal heroism to those depicting the hugging of cute little babies.
He speaks in too broad terms about what is heard in churches for any meaningful debate; and then jumps to his own but startling conclusion.
I am a man. I have been a man all my life. I don’t know what it is like to be a woman at all, except what has been confided in me by women. I know, and am fully persuaded by Christ, that Christianity is not about stories of heroism or hugging cute little babies, but about doing what is right that peace, NOT war, spread throughout the earth, that we may enjoy a little bit of heaven before the new day dawns; and that that theme may be expressed in an infinite number of stories. Not all who hear will hear however. Some like the world, and some like it not. Let him who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.
In this life, there is money to be had in publishing half-baked ideas which stir up strident voices.
Here is something to think about: The Gender Gap in Religion Around the World
Considering the plight of women generally, James has an interesting explanation: “Listen, my beloved brothers: Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?” – James 2:5 cf The Beatitudes of Mat. 5.
It explains why the wealthy, independent and proud North having grown so fat and rosy, the lean, fearful, hopeful, immigrant population has overtaken them in church membership.