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 The Feminization of Christendom

Love Songs and Feminine Spirituality

An example of the feminization of the church is its music. Typical praise songs refer to Jesus as a Christian’s lover and praise his beauty and tenderness. Rarely do they praise his justice or strength, or refer to him as the head of an army leading his church into spiritual battle, like “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

“There’s definitely a trend toward a more intimate music style, like the music from the Vineyard,” said Dr. Barry Liesch, a professor of music at Biola and author of The New Worship (Baker Books).

Feminized music concerns Steve Craig (’05), a graduate of Biola’s degree completion program and the director of a men’s ministry of over 400 men at Yorba Linda Friends Church in Yorba Linda, Calif.

“In our men’s ministry, we’re beginning to take out the flowery songs and replace them with the warrior-type lyrics and more masculine things that men identify with,” Craig said.



Touchy-Feely Sermons

Another turn-off for men is touchy-feely sermons. Pearcey said the modern church stresses emotions and inner spiritual experiences while neglecting the intellectual side of the faith.

“The more traditionally masculine side of Christianity enjoys crossing swords with hostile secular worldviews. So, as long as Christianity appeals to the emotional, therapeutic, interpersonal, relational areas, it’s not going to appeal to men as much as to women,” Pearcey said.

Churches should engage men’s intellects to help them see the relevance of Christianity to the “real” world of politics, industry and business, Pearcey said.

“We have to recover the notion that Christianity is true on all levels, not just for your emotional life or repairing relationships, as important as those things are,” she said.

Many churches emphasize Jesus’ softer teachings, like his love and his desire to save, and they ignore the doctrines of sin and hell, according to Podles. But men dislike liberal Christianity — “a mild religion of progress and enlightenment” as opposed to a battle between good and evil, Podles said.

Men want to expend their lives for a great cause, even if it involves risk, according to Murrow. He said that’s why the U.S. military’s “Army of One” campaign was effective. But American churches rarely teach about Christian suffering and martyrdom, Murrow said. Instead, today’s Christianity is presented as an antidote to these things, he said.

“Men are more attracted to religion if it presented as a quest, an adventure, a heroic exploit,” Pearcey said. “They want something challenging, bracing, demanding.”

To reach men, churches should stress the cost and dangers of following Christ — including Christians’ conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil, according to Podles.

Yet, men should be reminded that the sacrifice won’t always be a “huge, glorious display like William Wallace stepping out on a battlefield,” Erre said. Many times it will be staying in a troubled marriage, raising a handicapped child, or working a hated job to provide for a family, he said.



Girly-Men Pastors

Touchy-feely sermons come from touchy-feely pastors. A feminized church tends to attract more “gentle, sensitive, nurturing” leadership,” according to Pearcey.

“If religion is defined primarily in terms of emotional experience and is therapeutic, then who is it going to attract as ministers?” she said.

Pearcey said to consider a typical youth pastor.

“He’s really into relationships, very motivating, but is he teaching good apologetics? Is he teaching youth to use their minds and to understand deeper theological truths? At least the ones I’ve known haven’t,” she said. “Today, the common trajectory is for youth pastors to become senior pastors,” she added.

Murrow argues that the church needs strong, masculine leadership because men follow men. He said Jesus’ disciples are a prime example of this principle.

“Bold leadership attracts men. But even more attractive than a dynamic pastor is the sight of men in the pews who are true followers of Jesus Christ,” Murrow said in his book.

Morrow anticipates concern from some women that he is promoting unilateral male leadership. He said he is not seeking male dominance, but male resurgence.

Thoennes is also concerned about a lack of strong, male leadership in the church. But he said, if the church has become feminized, then he doesn’t see that as the fault of women or the church — but of men — who, he believes, have abdicated the involvement they should have.

“If the church doesn’t have enough strong male influence, that’s not a reason for men to stop going, but a great reason for them to go,” he said.

To help male Biola students become leaders, Student Ministries plans to launch a chapter of Men’s Fraternity next fall, led by Jonathan Morrow, a seminary student at Biola.

Yet, much of the church is seeking further feminization, through attempts to increase female clergy and to create gender-neutral Bibles and hymns. Many liberal seminaries now graduate equal numbers of women and men, or more women than men, like Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School.

(Currently, Biola’s seminary, Talbot School of Theology, is about 76 percent men.)

Johnstone believes the feminist movement in mainline churches has contributed to the decline in male membership.

Restoring Balance
Murrow said churches that seek to reverse this feminization might face opposition, as the leaders in his church first did.

But he and other leaders in the men’s movement, like Gardner, believe a masculine spirit will bring men, and gender balance, to the church.

“Once you start attracting a man’s full heart, soul, mind and strength — and he sees that there are ways he can use all those in the church — then we’re going to start seeing a turnaround of the absent man,” Gardner said.

Full link.
http://magazine.biola.edu/article/06-spring/the-feminization-of-the-church/

A777


 2011/5/13 12:43
StarofG0D
Member



Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States

 Re: The Feminization of Christianity

Quote:
“Once you start attracting a man’s full heart, soul, mind and strength — and he sees that there are ways he can use all those in the church — then we’re going to start seeing a turnaround of the absent man,” Gardner said.



True. It is the lack of growth in the inner man that brings about the destruction of the church. If we follow a law of man made principles it WILL fall apart. It is self-seeking not self denying. If we seek full surrender to Him, to Christ and His will, it is then we will be fulfilled in Him, and will take our roles. It is when we take part in following ordinances of man, religious or otherwise, that the church falls/departs. Come back church!


_________________
Michelle

 2011/5/13 12:53Profile
DEADn
Member



Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL

 Re: The Feminization of Christianity

My OH My

This really answers why I find it hard many times to listen to any christian radio and feel confident in the church. I have sensed this alot in the church and do realize it when I have shaken handshaken hands and instead of a firm, rip the hand of grip, the handshake is one of a marshmellow. What's up with that?

I also wonder this, when it comes to singing, does there really have to be a band to play? Why not have the congregation sing accapella?

My mind is exploding with comments to this post but I have to be silent and force my mind to be quiet lest I put my foot in my mouth somewhere along the line.

John


_________________
John

 2011/5/13 13:31Profile









 Re: Evidently European Men Have the Same Objections

Men Want More Anthems, Less Hugging in Church
By Anne Thomas|Christian Today Reporter

A new survey has suggested that men who go to church would like less hugging and holding hands and more singing of anthems and “proclamational” songs.

A survey of 400 readers of U.K's Sorted, a Christian magazine for men, found that 60 percent of men did not like flowers and embroidered banners in church. Around 52 percent also said they were not too keen on dancing in church either.

The survey suggested that men were uncomfortable with physical contact such as holding hands and with activities such as sitting in circles to share their feelings.

Almost 60 percent of the respondents said they enjoyed singing in church, but many added comments saying they preferred anthemic or “proclamational” songs over emotional love songs.

Sermons and talks were popular with respondents, with 72 percent saying they were the best part of the service.

Sorted editor and publisher Steve Legg noted, “Jesus recruited a bunch of 12 ordinary blokes before He began his ministry proper. They spent three years together doing stuff. He sat down and ate with them and built relationships,” according to the Daily Mail.

“The comments at the end of the survey showed that what appeals to men is doing stuff together – sports teams, fishing, pub quizzes, paint-balling, DIY projects, curry nights, bowling, clay pigeon shooting and going out for a beer.”

The survey and its results will be discussed at next week's Christian Resources Exhibition in Sandown Park.

Legg added, “I often walk into churches and they are like Laura Ashley showrooms with all these flowers and banners and tissues. Men just don’t feel comfortable with that.

“Certainly, with the singing, I am fed up with singing these sentimental lovey dovey songs. On the football terraces we are very passionate, chanting and cheering, and we want more songs like that. We want fewer girly songs.”

Sorted provided a list of ten hymns likely to prove a hit with male worshippers:

Onward Christian Soldiers
And Can It Be
Guide Me O Thy Great Redeemer
All People That On Earth Do Dwell
Be Thou My Vision
How Great Thou Art
Amazing Grace
Eternal Father, Strong To Save (For Those On Peril On The Sea)
Our God Reigns
Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind Forgive Our Foolish Ways

 2011/5/13 14:14
StarofG0D
Member



Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States

 Re:

Quote:
A new survey has suggested that men who go to church would like less hugging and holding hands and more singing of anthems and “proclamational” songs.



There are women that also want this. Why put a fork in the road?


_________________
Michelle

 2011/5/13 14:21Profile









 Re:

I agree Star. Amen!

Would like to see real women and real men of God, today.

This feminist spirit is not what a true women of God should be, either. It has affected women, too.

I have actually read some articles by women online, decrying the girly songs. I will try to locate them and post them. I think there is a bigger impact when women are actually lamenting the superficiality of words today and the turning of Jesus into our "romantic lover".

A777

 2011/5/13 14:38
ThyKingCome
Member



Joined: 2011/4/19
Posts: 169
Southern CA

 Re: The Feminization of Christianity

Thank you for sharing this article. I wholeheartedly agree that there is an absence of men in the Church today. Not only in numbers but in leadership.

Dr. Robert Morey addresses this dillemma in his book "Fearing God". It's a very timely trumpet blast for the church.

The breakdown in the Church lies largely with the men of the Church. Men are called to be the priests of their home and to represent Christ to their wives and children, but sadly, Many American Christian men are consumed in the rat race of life, building their own kingdoms, hobbies, video-games, sports, (Fantasy football), "having fun" rather than being occupied with God's Kingdom and God's business. If a marriage breaks down, then it splits the family, then if the family breaks down then it affects the Church. When the family's of the Church are suffering, then the church is suffering. What is a Church other than Men, Women and families? As Leonard Ravenhill so rightly proclaims, "forget getting Christ back into the schools, get Him back into the home...the Christian home". The health and spiritual condition of the Christian home determines what is brought to the house of worship when the Body comes together.

Would to God that He would raise up men in this generation who are, forgive me, not "wild at heart" but "fervent in Spirit serving the Lord". We need men who will lift up holy hands everywhere in prayer without wrath and doubting. We need men who will pray and watch the gate of their homes without falling asleep. As Job watched over the spiritual condition of his family so to do we men need to do the same. We ought to be the last to bed and the first to rise in the home pleading for protection for our family and to keep the wicks trimmed and the oil running in our homes. The Christian home is meant to be a place of Light and Glory, where the presence of God dwells, a true tabernacle of praise, a house of prayer, a dwelling place of God in the Spirit! If the men of God become God-filled men who can wash their families with the Word of God and lead them as Christ leads Him, then the marriages of the Church will be restored, and the family crisis will be turned around. The Men are called to be the backbone and spine of the Church, and it starts in our homes. Who a man is in his home is who he is. Period. If a man is on fire for God the first beneficiary of that fire should be his wife and then his children, and then the local church. For the single men the call is the same: reach out to your neighbors and co-workers, and bring the flame into the Church!

Oh God, fill our men!!!


_________________
Brother Kevin

 2011/5/13 14:44Profile









 Re:

I appreciate what Dr. Morey says. Men's priorities are wrong. Yep, men have abdicated their responsibility in the home so how can you expect the church to reflect anything spiritually healthy.

It's not God's fault, He is calling and wanting to raise up men and desiring to fill men. But, He will not do it without a willingness and hunger and cooperation from men.

You know as well as I do what God's remedy for Israel was when they forsook the Lord. Suffering, judgement, chastening. It woke some of Israel out of their slumber, but not all. God's pleadings in the OT, basically bounced back to Him and they seem to be bouncing back to Him, today.

A777

 2011/5/13 14:50
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3407
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: handshakes

Quote:
and instead of a firm, rip the hand of grip, the handshake is one of a marshmellow. What's up with that?


You don't have to have gray hair to have arthritis in the hands and it hurts those who have it when someone comes up and grips their hand tightly. I'm not saying all have arthritis but a lot do.

I am a handshaker and I like a firm one but as I'm getting older, I don't want someone squeezing my knuckles together!

Just a thought!
God bless you,
Lisa


_________________
Lisa

 2011/5/13 16:45Profile
Enochh
Member



Joined: 2007/8/22
Posts: 116
Indianapolis

 Re: The Feminization of Christianity

Let me give you first hand account of how this effects.
I am married to a woman who has a daughter (my step daughter)
I have tried to lead. I have with absolutely no submission.
Example: I keep the family books. At this point in the month it was slim so I talked to my wife via cell phone and said
I know you gals are going to the mall but its not in the budget right now to spend. We won't was my wifes response. they were at this point enroute to the mall. I later learned (by the transaction time) that when my wife was assureing me "we wont" they had already been to the bank and withdrawn shopping money. So my wife taught my step daughter 1) its ok to lie to your husband 2)its ok not to submitt to his leadership. long story short the teen took control of the home and i live in a 1 bedroom apartment. every where i turned for counsel it was always "you just need to love her like Christ love the church".....where does submission come in. Christ never obligated himself to love any one who didn't submitt to his headship (LORD).
Women need to wake up.Lets us be men. Sarah went as far as calling Abraham lord. Talk that kind of submission in America and the milk toast preachers will console the feminist and tell them their man is being "controlling"
Now I sit in my apartment with my cat and wonder where to go next. Thanks spinless pastors....another family bites the dust


_________________
Jeff

 2011/5/13 17:05Profile





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