American Churches Idolizing Fatherhood: Churches Want Your Dad, and Will Give Him Bacon, Guns, and a Grill
Some Christians – even some Christian males – have been making the complaint for a decade or more now that “churches are too feminine.” No, they are not.
Most churches of the evangelical, Reformed, Baptist and fundamentalist banners, strictly forbid, under the teachings of “gender complementarianism,” women holding positions of leadership, teaching, or preaching in churches, or in other areas of life, including marriage.
Men hold all power and control all shots in churches and in marriage.
Therefore, if you believe the church is “too feminine,” you can blame your male elders, male lay persons, and male preachers for that.
Some churches have swung too far in the other direction, in trying to correct this perceived notion that churches are not manly enough, so they come up with these bizarre stunts meant to attract men.
Another problem with GC, gender complementarianism, you see, is that Christians who teach it, do not believe men vary or that they should not vary. All men should meet the same standards and have identical interests and personalities.
Gender complementarianists teach or assume that ALL Christian men must be tough, macho, married, have children, enjoy drinking beer, belching loudly around women, and viewing NASCAR and other stereotypical manly-man pursuits, which are defined by American culture and not by the Bible.
If you are a single man, a childfree man, a man who hates football but who prefers artistic pursuits, if you enjoy listening to opera, you like visiting art museums or watching cooking programs on Food Network, you are not considered “man enough” by these churches.
This is another reason you men who complain about “churches being run or controlled by women” need to stop defending the very foundation (GC, which excludes women) that is maintaining your second tier status.
Guys like male, 50 something, celibacy blogger John Morgan (see this link and maybe this link for more about this guy) has written several times over on his blog that he wants or expects single, Christian woman to act as cheerleaders for celibate, single men. He seems to blame women for the plight of celibate men. It’s not the job of single women to be cheerleaders for Christian men.
A message to men who keep blaming women, or expecting women to clean up the mess in the church:
Female Christians are not your problem – it’s the men who run the churches who insist on GC who are your problem.
Here is another article about how churches are too masculine – that’s right, churches are not “feminine,” they alienate women or else they alienate men who don’t fit a specific “biblical manhood” description that churches propagate.
(Link): Churches Want Your Dad, and Will Give Him Bacon, Guns, and a Grill by Matthew Paul Turner
- Combating an image that going to church is too “feminine,” many houses of worship are coming up with creative ways to lure dads in on Father’s Day.
- …Believe it or not, Church Unlimited isn’t the only evangelical congregation commemorating fatherhood today with an all-you-can-eat bacon feast. Despite God’s firm rebuke of eating pork in the Old Testament, churches all over the country—from Nashville to Chicago, from Maryland to California—are using bacon to lure fathers into their pews. The church in California even made a commercial featuring (Link): a woman dressed up as bacon.
- But fried pig isn’t the only device churches are using to get dads through their doors. Churches are giving away grills. They’re hosting car shows. They’re filling their services with “manly stuff”. Last year, a church in Missouri gave away two AR-15 rifles on Father’s Day. The lengths to which churches go to attract dads to their services seemingly have few boundaries.
- Though these promotional tactics are relatively new, churches acknowledging Father’s Day is not. In fact, the holiday pretty much started in the church. Though its organizers did not arrange their function as an annual celebration, the first known commemoration of fathers happened in a West Virginia church. In 1908, eight months after nearly 400 men died in a coal-mining explosion, a nearby United Methodist church decided to (Link): honor the fathers who died in that tragedy. The pastor preached a dad-themed sermon, one “etched in sadness as well as thanksgiving.”
- … And though it would be another 30 years before Richard Nixon would make Father’s Day a nationally recognized celebration, by the end of the war it was, by all accounts, an American institution.
- …But today, in addition to many evangelical churches using the third Sunday in June to celebrate fatherhood, among some flocks the holiday has become an easy opportunity for churches to try and coax men to give God’s house another try.
- Unlike in days gone by when church pews still filled up on Sunday mornings with dads of all ages, polling suggests that men in America have grown disinterested in church. In fact, among researchers who study America’s religious habits, one of the most talked about trends over the last decade has been the ever-present reality that (Link): a growing number of men hate going to church.
Kevin D. Hendricks, the editorial director at (Link): Church Marketing Sucks, says, “People are always going on and on about church being too feminine and about how churches need to do more work to attract men.” He adds, “It’s pretty ironic, given the patriarchy of the church.”
- …Nate Pyle, author of Man Enough and a pastor of Christ’s Community Church located outside of Indianapolis, agrees with Hendricks. “By making [Father’s Day] all about bacon, giving away guns, or bringing in the local sports hero, churches hope to attract men by proving that churches can be masculine. But these macho activities are simply acquiescing to cultural ideals gathering than letting the gospel shape what we say and do.”
(Link): Why Men Don’t Go To Church
(Link): Un-Happy Father’s Day!