Manly Men Phenomenon

Friday I introduced a novel idea of writing a book together.  There has been good response and I thank you all for your interest and your ideas.  The Book Project is developing and new information will be released soon.  There are a lot of details to work out.  When details are posted, they will be on the blog, and continually updated under the Menu heading Book Project.

Today I found my blog mentioned in a discussion of why men don’t go to church.  Someone had read “Why Men Don’t go to Church – The Testosterone Church” and brought that into the discussion, along with your comments. 

Many people want to know why men don’t go to church so that topic is very popular.  In fact, when I check the stats on my blog, I find that is the most common thing typed into the search engines.  Something has to be driving this interest.  Have we suddenly just woke up one morning and discovered that our churches have more women than men in them?  I don’t think so.  I think that this topic is a backlash against women seeking equality.

Last week, an 85 year old man asked me where had the Manly Men gone.  I have been talking with this man for 5 years, and his favorite subject is that the women are running the church, but he had never said the words “Manly Men” before.  So something has happened to cause him to use these words.  Perhaps there is some influence from his family who attend another church locally.  Whatever it is, Manly Men has caught on.  He got those words from somewhere, and it was not from me.

It is red herring.  It is just one more thing thrown at women.  The inference is that women are responsible for men not going to church because we have feminized their church.    

I’ve said it before, and I repeat it.  It is a wonder that women go to church at all.  We hear from everybody that we are taking over the church, and that the church is becoming feminized.  As a woman, I find those words to be very unwelcoming.  Should anybody be surprised if women quit going to church and let the Manly Men retake their position in church? 

I love going to church and worshipping.  I want everybody to go to church.  What I don’t want, is to be thought of as a hindrance to men attending church.

But then, what women think is not really a great concern for our church leaders.

Won’t you join me in speaking our for equality for those women sitting in the pew, so they know that it is not just the Manly Men the church welcomes, but the feminine women are welcome also.

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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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13 Responses to Manly Men Phenomenon

  1. Mara says:

    You know, I keep hearing this and seeing it on the internet. But in real life, in my own church, I absolutely don’t see it. There are many manly men in my church.
    One, the co-pastor, used to head up an evangelistic out reach of body builders who did feats of strength (like bench pressing refridgerators) to get people’s attention, then they would deliver the gospel message saying that the real strong One was the One that carried the cross and the burden of sin for the world on His back. Many came to the Lord through his ministry.

    So when I hear this accusation thrown out, I really do wonder who is making it and I doubt for sure that it is being made by truly strong, secure men but rather by dweebs who think they know what manly men are, but they really don’t.

    I’ve just done a series on small, threatened men and their false gospel of reducing women in order to make themselves feel manly.

    http://frombitterwaterstosweet.blogspot.com/2011/04/small-men-make-me-nervous.html

    I’ve done a bit of a series about it and have linked my blog to my name because today’s post is “Why Talk About Small Men in High Places”.

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  2. I always wonder what the “manly men” movement says about men who ARE in the church. Are they not manly enough? Why do men have to fit a certain mold? And if they did, would they be able to be the church leaders the movement wants? After all, would there version of a manly man direct the choir (my manly man husband DOES — AND supports his wife’s pastoral gifts)?

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  3. It seems to me that there are certain circles of faith that tend to use spiritual pixie dust to deal with realities – instead of logic and common sense. That has nothing to do with feminized to be perfectly honest.

    It has more to do with leadership that has no backbone, and the fellowship basically enabling them.

    I don’t appreciate personally the pastors that get up and scream about hell and brimstone. Most of those are ones that tend to like to point fingers, more than being gracious. Then you have the extreme to the other direction that are so nice they can’t make up their minds on anything.

    People don’t go church because of the ‘plastic perfect people’. There are to many cliches, and performances. You can’t be real, and who wants to go to a place that ‘pretends’ they are something they are not. You normally have one of two extremes when they speak of these types of circles – one plays the goody two shoes and the other is the self righteous crowd that looks down their noses at the world.

    It seems like the church has their own brand of ‘politically correct’ going on. I mean you can’t even be logical when things like the T.Anderson deal when down. OUT of fairness – they must break down the percentage of sin between the two? That’s just plain dumb.

    When you speak of troubles within your family – they won’t listen until you list YOUR sins prior? You must do it in a way to prove you don’t think you are ‘perfect’, and then feel free to tell you to ‘lay in on the cross’ – and get closer to Jesus.

    In other words – we will attempt to humble you, and if you don’t do it by our formula we will humiliate you first – than basically hand over some spiritual pixie dust because the perfect plastic people may get dirty if they hand over something of substance.

    To me? That has nothing to do with feminized. It has to do with people being fake. They are playing a role to be something they are not.

    That is why people RUN instead of walk out the doors.

    IMO

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  4. Sonnet says:

    It still seems so ironic that when women are denied access to leadership roles in many churches, they still get blamed for the condition of those churches. Are they just not submitting ENOUGH to men like some victims of domestic abuse are accused of?

    The first article/post I wrote for The CBE Scroll (as a guest) confronted the assertion that it is the *feminizing* of schools that is hurting boys academically.

    http://blog.cbeinternational.org/2009/09/is-gender-stereotyping-hurting-boys-academically/

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  5. Lynne says:

    This is a subject that always annoys me. We are starting to hear this stuff parrotted in Australia too. My response was, “Huh?” As far as I am aware, thoughout most of history, except in times and places when church going was compulsory for everyone, there have always been more women than men in the church — and that across most countries and denominations. I think there are a lot of “manly” circles with the perception that religion is “women’s business”. Even Hitler said that women’s sphere was “Kinder, Kuche Kirche” (children, kitchen and church). But now it’s suddenly a big issue, because some women are threatening to challengwe their idea of the church as a boys’ club with lots of female servants to look after them.

    So now we are in the strange position of having no power or say in how the church is run, and yet we’re somehow responsible for keeping the men away. It does my head in!!
    BTW one of the silliest statements I’ve heard on this is that the church makes men uncomfortable because the walls are usually painted in pastel colours. Umm .. have they noticed the walls in most people’s homes?

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  6. Mabel says:

    As many of you already pointed out, women are locked out of leadership. Let’s see, all leaders are men, and under an all male leadership model, men (manly or otherwise) are not going to church. Instead of blaming themselves for not leading well, these leaders actually want to blame women, who are NOT the leaders? Hmm, that makes a lot of sense, NOT!!!

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  7. Mara says:

    The sin of Adam comes in many forms and makes many arguments using all sorts of lights and mirrors and slight of hand. It’s all designed to shift his portion of the blame from himself (where is belongs) and onto the little woman who is so conveniently standing nearby.

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  8. Lydia says:

    “It still seems so ironic that when women are denied access to leadership roles in many churches, they still get blamed for the condition of those churches.”

    And they are not aware they are saying the exact same thing Adam said when he blamed Eve for his own sin. “That woman you gave me”.

    What they are really doing is indirectly giving women power. The power to keep men from being manly (whatever that is). Well, you gotta blame someone. Just ask Adam.

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  9. There have always been more women than men attending church. Read the account of who was standing around the cross at the very end. This is nothing new. Attacks against women in this area, though, is something relatively new and alarming. Previously, men were called to account and castigated for their failure to become involved in their churches, but complementarianism villanizes women and essentially blames women for male failure regardless of what type of failure it is, so it is now the fault of women that men are not attending church. Complementarianism has shuttled Christ to sidelines and made male/female roles the overarching focus of our existence both in church and out. This is sinful and idolatrous. Men are told they must be “manly”, which is nothing more than a complementarian psuedonym for chauvinistic. This precept is destructive to both men and women.

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    • Absolutely. It is just one more deception that is perpetuated by our church leaders. How do we get women to see this?

      The average woman sitting in the pew has no idea what the church is actually telling her. She is not looking for blogs such as these, and she, too, wants her husband, boyfriend, or sons to come to church. Even though we know it is she who is the scapegoat, she is not aware of that.

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      • Mara says:

        Well, the thing is, Shirley. More and more women have come through this and see it for what it is and more and more women ARE looking for blogs like this, because…

        Even though there are men who teach a gospel that shuts up the way to God’s fullness and grace to women, the Spirit of God is still calling out to them in love. And women, like the ones who walked with Jesus and were gathered around the cross are still gathering around Jesus. Burnt and broken these women refuse to reject God altogether, in spite of men trying to teach them that He is sexist and chauvanist. Instead they are seeking the true Spirit of God. They are seeking Him and finding Him and spreading the news and their voices are becoming louder and more numerous…

        Still a minority, we are no longer a microscopic and overlooked minority but rather one with roar and teeth.

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      • Roar and teeth! I want to get the word out so badly to more people. If you will notice, not many Baptists are writing or commenting. It may be that Baptists will be the last ones standing who are denying women equality.

        We are going to write a book and hopefully, this book will tell the story. You all will tell the story. We will tell the story.

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