Why men don’t go to church – Testosterone Church

I just finished reading the testosterone book “Why Men Hate Going to Church” by David Murrow. With all that influx of testosterone images going through my brain, I was tempted to go out and chop down a tree, or procreate, or something. 

I really feel sorry for the author.  All these feminized churches!  Men who have to become girlie to go to church, pastors who must subdue their feminine side.  What a burden we women have placed on the body of Christ with our churches.

He said that men love starting new churches, entering into a building program.  And then they leave.  Well, whose fault is that?  It seems to be mine, and women like me.  I have worked with starting new churches, and have been on building committees.  He seems to think that once the church is up and functioning, the women take over, and the men go out the window.

Common knowledge is that churches are made up of 60% women and 40% men.  The latest statistics show that 94,232 more boys than girls were born in 2004.  But at the end of the day, there are 6,116,837 fewer men than women in the United States.  And we must remember that nearly 75% of nursing home residents are women, who are probably not attending church.

Yes, there are more women in church than there are men.  There are more women alive in the United States than there are men.  Six million more.   60/40 is still way out of balance, but it has always been that way.  Even author David Murrow admits that it goes back to the 13th century.  Mosques are male-dominated, and testosterone flows out into the streets. If our churches were 40/60, is that what we would have?

Now think about this.  The apostle Paul was called by a man in a vision to go to Macedonia.  When Paul got there, he found a group of women praying.  Should Paul have told the women to:

  • go find some men and bring them
  • host a Wild Game Event 
  • have a discus throwing party,

or should the apostle Paul have done exactly what he did do?  Witness to the ones he had there, and give them the word of God?

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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15 Responses to Why men don’t go to church – Testosterone Church

  1. I have to admit this concept of the ‘feminized church’ to be honest has always confused me. I have not found a definition that makes sense about what it is yet. It seems over used to be honest, because it has turned into ‘whatever I don’t like about this’ is now coined feminized.

    If they can’t communicate the issue how are people going to make things better in their eyes? I have seen plenty of churches that has ‘manly’ things to do. Hunting and fishing trips, sports parties, fixing things for others in need, etc.

    They gripe that women have ‘bible studies’ during the day, and they can’t go due to work. For heavens sakes PLAN one for later in the evening yourself, because according to what they say – men will COME!

    I have heard that they call the mega churches this due to the music, and how they present services.

    I have heard if you have tissue boxes in the pews, and flowers on the alter.

    I have found alot of the items they speak about are petty. You don’t have to go to a mega church, and if tissue boxes and flowers bother you that much that you WON’T go to church??

    I have found that most of the men that chant this stuff are more upset that people aren’t preaching about the ‘macho’ side of Jesus, because the softer side isn’t ‘manly’ enough. I have found churches speak about both sides, and traits in between.

    Most churches have all men in leadership, and if the church is still feminized? What does that say about the God given – given to us not you – leadership skills?

    I will admit there are areas that the church needs to work on, but to say that some of the items they speak about makes men stay away from church? They are more speaking about things that are ego driven, macho looking, and testosterone to be brim filled. Extremes aren’t good for anyone, and their definition more sounds like the world out there. They make themselves sound like the “Jersey Shore’ boys.

    Learning to be humble, and less prideful is not something that makes you feminine. It makes you more Christlike, and there are plenty of women that struggle in that area as well. Faith is to transform you, and the way the preach it – they want faith to mold around them. How human of them. That certainly isn’t feminine.

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    • Yes. Friday will be the Feminine Church, and then I will end this with the Submissive church. You make a good point about the Bible Studies. My grandson-in-law (he died suddenly in December) went to a church where the Pastor came downtown one day a week and they had what they called “Small Group.” When we stayed with them last year, he came home telling my granddaughter what they discussed in Small Group. So yes, there are ways to reach the young businessmen.

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  2. Mara says:

    It’s all just another way for Adam to say, “God, it’s the woman you gave me… It’s her fault.”

    Dress it up however you like, it’s the same sin of Adam passed down to his sons.

    On a different note, I know a guy who defined ‘feminized’ as emotional and lack of logic and apologetics. I think I managed to persuade him to see it more as left brain and right brain and that both men and women have both left and right brain. And he finally told me that it was the men in charge that were keeping apologetics out of the church and he has female apologetics friends who are as frustrated with this as he is.
    I believe he accepts my terms and is beginning to understand that there is no point in using ‘feminine’ as a dirty word.
    Nor should any man use any form of the word ‘feminine’ as something bad and to be fought against. Because, guess what? When God created woman, He said it was VERY GOOD.
    It’s best not to call bad things good and good things bad.

    And I say this believing that the left-brained kleenex boxes should remain in the pews for the emotional experiences we have in worship while the door needs to be flung open for the more right-brained, intellectual apologetics to be welcomed in.

    Balance in all things.

    Knee-jerk reactions, like Murrow’s book, only creates imbalance in the other direction.

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  3. onewaypress says:

    “Common knowledge is that churches are made up of 60% women and 40% men.”

    Feminized churches? The church has always been mostly women. How many men had the courage to show up in support of Jesus at Golgatha? We have the names of three women and only one man. It seems testosterone failed miserably on that momentous day (John 19:25-26).

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  4. EricW says:

    Frederica Mathewes-Green on why the Orthodox Church appeals to men:

    http://www.frederica.com/facing-east-excerpt-1/

    “Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it’s something that their wives—especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style—are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It’s going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it’s not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it’s through with you you’re going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It’s going to demand, not death on the battlefield, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It’s a guy thing. You wouldn’t understand.

    “When I asked members of our little mission, “Why did you become a member?”, two women (both enthusiastic converts now) used the same words: “My husband dragged me here kicking and screaming.” Several others echoed that it had been their husband’s idea—he’d been swept off his feet and had brought them along willy-nilly. Another woman told how she left Inquirer’s Class each week vowing never to go again, only to have her husband wheedle her into giving it one more try; this lasted right up to the day of her chrismation. I can imagine how her husband looked, because that’s how my Gary looked: blissful, cautious, eager, and with a certain cat-who-ate-the-canary, you’ll-find-out smile.”

    Though no longer Orthodox, I would tend to agree. The faux “masculinity” promoted by Evangelical Christianity is pantywaist stuff compared to what the Orthodox Church asks and expects of those who take it seriously, and Evangelical trends (vs. Orthodox Tradition(s)) are laughable; they last about, what… a year, maybe two? (I.e., until the next popular book or activity or movement comes out.)

    Some Evangelicals are incorporating spiritual exercises and disciplines and liturgical activities and church year calendars piecemeal into their services and practices – a little here, a little there, etc. – whereas the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church have so woven these things into their services and practices (more so the Orthodox, IMO) that if one is serious about that style of Christianity, one doesn’t have to think about what to do – it’s already there, and in spades. But I suspect you will be seeing more churches incorporating these things into their activities to draw and interest men, yet all this will still fall woefully short of what a fully Orthodox life can entail and involve and demand.

    Too bad I can no longer accept the foundational premises of the Orthodox Church.

    (sigh)

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    • EricW says:

      Interestingly, this David Murrow already has a link on his site to another article by Frederica where she explains why the Orthodox Church is attracting men: http://churchformen.com/church-culture/which-denomination-has-no-gender-gap/

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    • chaidrinkingfool says:

      Hrm. I am, myself, attracted to “spiritual exercises and disciplines and liturgical activities and church year calendars”, and I’m female.

      I don’t have, unfortunately, exposure to the Orthodox Church, though I do have limited exposure to the Catholic Church–more specifically, through some more liberal yet genuine, passionate, and practicing Catholic folks who are indeed gender egalitarians (sorry to be vague, but I’m attempting to preserve anonymity). I’m attracted to the things I list above, yet…I believe that great harm is caused by the beliefs that women are not to contribute all their God-given gifts to the church, and are also to squelch gifts that may benefit their families, as well. I consider the issue to be so important that though I am attracted to spiritual exercises and disciplines, liturgy, traditional music, etc., I don’t know that I could ever become Catholic.

      This is a good post, and Mara makes some excellent points in her response. Thank you!

      And yes, Eric, I am annoyed by the trends I see come and go in Protestant circles: Quit reading about being men or women already and just do it! God made you male, made you female–just BE who God made you to be, already! All of humanity struggles with sin. Let’s struggle together. /rant

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      • EricW says:

        Unfortunately, there is a built-in gender hierarchy (or at least restriction) in Orthodoxy and Catholicism such that women cannot be priests (or deacons, I believe), because of Christ’s incarnation as a male. Since in Catholic teaching the priest stands in persona Christi when offering to God and giving to the communicants the Body and Blood of Christ, a woman cannot ever hold this position. A similar belief related to Christ’s maleness restricts the priesthood to men in Orthodoxy as well.

        While that’s not the case in the Episcopal Church – for they indeed have women priests – if, like me, a person does not accept the concept of the priesthood and/or the sacramentalism attached to it, that Church is not an option.

        There were many things pointed out in those two articles that I liked about the Orthodox Church (I hadn’t read the second one when I posted my first link to Frederica’s other article, and thus found it interesting that she wrote some things similar to my first comments re: taking things piecemeal from liturgical churches), and I’m not sure how one creates a longstanding and enduring Tradition of liturgical practices and spiritual exercises, etc., without a priesthood or its equivalent to safeguard and protect and transmit them, or how one justifies making them a formal part of one’s church and life if one cannot appeal to hundreds of years of such practices. It’s hard to take things from another church’s established traditions without also appropriating many other aspects of that church such that perhaps one should just join that church instead. E.g., I don’t know if one could adopt icons without at least having to understand what they are and why they’re painted the way they are and why the people look that way, etc., which gets into the Seventh Ecumenical Council issues and theosis and lots of other things that are firmly rooted and entwined in the Orthodox Church. One cannot just have them as “pretty decorations that make you think of Christ and/or the saints” without going further into what the particular icons are saying about the persons depicted, and why. Etc. YMMV

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  5. Mabel says:

    Sorry Shirley, could I borrow Eric here? Eric, care to help comment on this link: http://www.gotquestions.org/gqblog/?p=869#comment-336325
    Someone insisted that Jesus must be male in order to fulfill God’s Salvation plan. I apologize for hijacking and going off topic here. But it is all about protecting woman’s equality, so in that sense, it is not totally off topic.

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  6. KR Wordgazer says:

    I’ve posted on that “Men and Church” website before. Here’s the comment I posted there today– it hasn’t been approved yet. But though it specifically addresses the issue of why men don’t sing in church, it raises the points I would raise in response to Eric’s links too– that “feminization” is the wrong word to use, because it blames women and femininity, rather than on the real problem, which is an unbalanced picture of Christ and a lack of real encounter with Him in churches.
    Here’s what I wrote:

    This is another issue that, while it certainly affects men, is not a gender-specific problem. Women want and need to participate in the singing too. Women have trouble singing when they aren’t given a chance to learn the words or melody, when the songs are pitched for the vocal range of a professional and not for the average voice, or when the music leaders are more like the stars at a concert than servants helping the saints worship God.

    The problem I see with calling all of this the “feminization” of the church is the way that it seems to blame all the churches’ problems on women. You say men are bored in church– well, ok. You have a point. But the fact is that many, if not most, of the women are bored, too. Christians need to be challenged in their faith. Women can live with the lack of challenge because there are other avenues for them to relate, where there aren’t for men. But women as well as men would be helped by a more challenging, robust form of Christianity.

    There would be just as much of a problem if the church was overfocused on what are traditionally considered manly traits, to the exclusion of the traditional “feminine” traits. A church which ignored interpersonal relationships would be in just as much difficulty in the long run as a church which focuses on them too much.

    What we all really need are true encounters with the living Christ, who kicked salesmen out of the Temple, but also wept openly when his friend died. Who said he had come to bring a sword– but also compared himself to a hen gathering chicks under her wings.

    Perhaps this website isn’t saying what so many others seem to say– that the problem with church is all those women, that there’s somehow something wrong with being feminine, and that women and femininity are ruining the church. This is just another form of misogyny, and I don’t think it’s what you mean. But the fact that some worship teams get up on stage and act like they’re the stars rather than Christ, or like it’s a concert rather than worship, is not “feminization.” It’s fleshly, and that’s all.

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  7. Pingback: Any thoughts on how this plays out in the marriage relationship? - Page 53 - Christian Forums

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