Thursday, June 15, 2006

Men are Afraid

In “Why Men Hate Going to Church,” Murrow says that men are afraid.

Men are afraid of being viewed as incompetent. Most men have never read much of the Bible. They aren’t sure of what Jesus taught. They don’t know how to find Philippians. They aren’t comfortable working in the kitchen. Most men are afraid of singing off key. Other than the yard work and building maintenance there isn’t much that goes on at the church where a guy can feel competent.

Men are afraid of the Christian lifestyle. Guys don’t want to be viewed as a “nerd” or a “nut case.” No man wants to become Ned Flanders. Men are concerned that they will have to leave their masculinity at home or stop being masculine all together.

Men are afraid that they will have to check their leadership skills at the door. Guys don’t like poorly running cars or businesses. They want to change things for the good—fix the things that are broken. They are use to taking charge at work but are afraid to lead in the same way at the church. Let’s face it; most pastors have ZERO training in management and leadership. Our churches are filled with guys who can lead and manage but they are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings.

Men fear that they will have to become super-husbands. They worry that the expectations of their wife may include going to church several times each week, a weekly date with the wife (not a bad idea), being a model babysitter, becoming a good listener that can also share his feelings. The list for super-husband could go on and on.

Men fear homosexuality in the church (this is Murrow’s idea). They see church going men as less masculine than the guys at work or the game. They see “sensitive” men at church. They hear the news media reporting on whether this church or that church will ordain gay pastors or priests. Some men have heard of how many Catholic priests are gay. Men fear homosexuality in the church.

Men are afraid of heaven! What’s the typical picture of heaven? It involves you and men, wings and harps. What self-respecting guy would want to float around on a cloud all day playing a harp for all eternity?

Are their fears real? Yes. Are the fears justifiable? Maybe. It has been said that a person’s perception is their reality. That is true for men. We need to combat those areas that cause men to be afraid.


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