Why Some Men Don't Like Church
The Church Requires Masculine Virtues
To walk in Christ is a challenge. It's a struggle men are called to; to gain power over themselves and the temptations of the world through Jesus Christ. I believe that the idea of the effeminate church is a PR issue and not true to the spirit of Christianity.
2nd Peter 1:5-9 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
These qualities are appreciated by men everywhere. They speak of self-mastery, trustworthiness, respect and authority. These are the virtues Christian men are called to demonstrate, while being a servant of God. They are called to demonstrate these virtues in increasing measure, meaning they must continue to improve. A challenge like this, that clearly defines what is needed and calls for constant improvement is motivating to men.
Teach More of Jesus Christ's Masculine Nature
To many men today hear only about the love, the personal, and even intimate relationship with God and Jesus that comes with being a Christian. For many men this type of language is a turn-off.
Men aren't overly emotional creatures, they don't want to be mushy, and they don't want an "intimate" relationship with a father figure. Knowledgeable Christians understand this language, but for those who don't, this kind of talk feels feminine and weak.
Men should be made aware that for all the talk of peace and love Jesus was very capable of being rough, stern, and extremely controversial. This was a man who stood in front of pharisees and called them vipers, chastising some of the most powerful religious figures of the day in public, directly to their faces. This figure who is so loving and holy also grabbed a whip and drove men from a temple with it, all while throwing over tables and chastising them.
Jesus was unafraid of controversy and he stood by his principles with a quiet peace, and people respected that. They still do today, and this side of Jesus is a side men need to be made more aware of. I was well into my twenties when I became acquainted with this side of Christ, and I found it motivated me more to follow His teachings.
Change The Focus, Not the Message, To Attract Men.
Many young men are turned away from the message of Christ because the church focuses on peace and love, or the softer aspects of faith. While these are important parts of Christianity they are not the best way to introduce young men to Christ.
Men need struggle, young men especially desire a mission and clear examples of strong leadership.
With so many heroes in movies and video games appealing to the masculine it's time for Christianity to harden up, and start challenging young men to be the kind of man Jesus was.
David is another masculine man, a king, a warrior, and a poet. A man after God's own heart. Men like David abound in the Bible, all with flaws, but all masculine figures men can look at and be proud to emulate.
Speak the language of men, speak in a manner that emphasizes the struggle, the discipline, and the more rugged aspects of the church. There is always a place for the love of Christ, but for many men who are curious about the churches teaching it's not what they feel they need.
Men need the strength of Jesus, and the strength of God before they can find and show the love of God.
Do not forsake peace, love, or forgiveness to reach men. Simply get better at showing men that Christian men can be masculine. That the masculine virtues of self-mastery, courage, honor, and strength have a clear and necessary place in the church. In a time where masculine qualities are often shunned, we the Body of Christ should be a bastion of the very qualities Jesus and his followers demonstrated.
© 2018 Rick Bostick