The question of why men in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries avoid active involvement in the organized parts of Christianity, such as going to church, remains an important topic. For example, The Art of Manliness has several articles on the feminization of Christianity and Return of Kings asks why modern Christianity is so weak. And then there are the trends that deliberately rebel against historical Christianity, such as Emergence Christianity and the house church movements.
Time and again, the Church has been brought to task for not doing enough to attract and support its male members. Many blame institutionalized Christianity and say that a decentralized religion free from fixed rituals is the solution. But even the un-church church is feminized in some way.
The problem is said to be that churches are not “guy friendly,” that they do not necessarily provide spaces that allow guys to be guys. On his Church for Men website, David Murrow presents the common and faulty understanding of men.
Men and young adults are drawn to risk, challenge and adventure. But these things are discouraged in the local church.
While this may be true enough, it still does not address a fundamental issue. What Murrow’s statement does is call the local church to be in effect a man-cave, a place where men can be what war movies, muscle cars, and video games stir them to be. While there is nothing wrong about the masculinity in these pursuits, there is still something vital that churches discourage men from doing. When they come to church they are looking for a certain aspect that once defined men and now black list them. They are looking for patriarchy.
What they find is equality. Many men know what both history and scripture declare when it comes to the sexes.
But I would have you know that the head of the woman is the man, the head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God (1 Corinthians 11:3 MEV).
They may also know what women are admonished to do.
Wives, be submissive to your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head and Savior of the church, which is His body (Ephesians 5:22-23 MEV).
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord (Colossians 3:18 MEV).
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Likewise, older women should be reverent in behavior, and not be false accusers, not be enslaved to much wine, but teachers of good things, that they may teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, and to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored (Titus 2:3-5 MEV).
Most men know by teaching if not by common sense that men are to protect and provide for the opposite sex as husbands, fathers, and Church leaders.
But what are men to do when women do not follow the admonition of tradition and scripture? What is to be done when women do not recognize men as their head, when wives do not submit to male authority, and when women do not obey their husbands? In other words, what are men to do when they are called to be guys, but not to be men? How are they supposed to handle Christian equality when Christianity has historically been hostile to the idea?
They either accept their demoted position as “a guy” or they abandon the Church to avoid the demotion.
Men are called to govern, lead, provide, and protect women with the understanding that there are divine consequences for disobedience (1 Peter 3:7). When women rebel against male authority in the name of equality, there is little recourse for men to counter the rebellion because the Church tells them they have no recourse and goes on to blame them for the rebellion. Men are then faced with all of the responsibility of being men with none of the needed authority. As guys, they are reduced to being nothing more than a “best friend” of Jesus and women.
Now, there is an entire counter-equality movement outside of the church where men rely on science, philosophy, and atheism to promote a rebuilding of guys into men and men into a new patriarchy. And the new church continues to promote various shades of feminism, from outright liberalism to the dubious concept of completarianism.
If the Church wants to truly call men to re-enter and re-engage, it would do well to openly embrace the concept of Patriarchal Nationalism. It would mean restoring male authority and openly chastising female rebellion while emphasizing Christianity’s call to men to be Sons of God. Until that happens, the Church will continue to be dominated by women and forced to settle with males whose only statement of identity is “I’m just a guy.”