November 9, 2007

Thanks to John Derbyshire at National Review Online’s Corner Blog for linking to this interesting article about men and church attendance by writer Frederica Mathewes-Green on Beliefnet. Seems that the Eastern Orthodox churches are bucking the trend of what most other churches seem to be experiencing across the board – that is, the vanishing male attendee:

In a time when churches of every description are faced with Vanishing Male Syndrome, men are showing up at Eastern Orthodox churches in numbers that, if not numerically impressive, are proportionately intriguing. This may be the only church which attracts and holds men in numbers equal to women. As Leon Podles wrote in his 1999 book, “The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity,” “The Orthodox are the only Christians who write basso profundo church music, or need to.”

It’s a great read.

I find Mathewes-Green’s article both interesting and absolutely on target. Having spent the better part of the last three years listening to men preach, I’m glad to have escaped from the limp-wristed, ‘we’re all wounded’, ‘let’s all get in touch with our inner feelings’, New Age-y, diversity=tolerance=acceptance blather I had become so accustomed to attending my church back in Massachusetts and from most (note I said most, not all) women priests and pastors I’ve known. To those who think otherwise, I’m no sexist when it comes to female clergy – I’ve known some excellent ones in my time (Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Methodist) who were not only excellent preachers, but fiercely committed to the spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and who suffered for it in their own unique ways.

If there is one minor issue I take with Mathewes-Green’s article is that it is not only men who are attracted to strong and positive messages of hope and salvation, and powerful images that inspire and attract, but women and families as well – especially those without the experience of a strong and positive male presence or head of household in their lives.

What is left unsaid in this article is what’s really happening out there in the mainline Protestant churches. To my view, these churches (Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal in particular) are all hemorrhaging membership for three primary reasons: 1) the over-feminization of clergy (both female and male) that has resulted in a watered-down and uninspiring message of faith; 2) a turning away from the Bible, the very concept of sin, and the traditional values these churches once valued and promoted; 3) the attempted hijacking of Christianity by radical gay, lesbian and transgender groups bent on shoving their ‘if it feels good it must be right’ value systems, sexual-centric identities, and warped agendas down the throats of these institutions under a Satanic guise of tolerance and acceptance for their own personal life choices.

Yep – you heard that right.

The Christian Church was born out of bold acts of sacrifice, perseverence in the face of persecution, and a strong message of faith and salvation through Jesus Christ. And it is this same boldess that appears to be attracting men and drawing them to the Orthodox (and, I might add, Roman Catholic) faith. Good for them, I say.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:55 | Comments (0)
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