Posts Tagged ‘church’

First I have to give credit for this to David Murrow from Church for Men. He is an advocate for authentic masculinity in the church. Thanks David.

We’re in the thick of the NFL playoff season. If you’re planning to watch a game or two this weekend, do me a favor: pay close attention to the commercials. You’ll learn a lot about men.

Advertisers have learned there are certain words and images that motivate guys to commit. Here’s an ad from Toyota, promoting the Tundra Pickup Truck:

Let’s break it down: A rough, gravel-voiced announcer. A dangerous situation. Huge metal beams swinging through space. Dirt. The sound of a motor roaring, tires squealing, metal grinding and cables snapping. Crowds of men cheering the truck’s narrow victory. A final angular logo that slams into place.

Now let’s look at a commercial you’ll never see on an NFL broadcast. It’s from the same advertiser, Toyota. See if you can figure out which gender this ad is targeting:

Flowers. Children. Butterflies. A female singer. A message of harmony. A logo that gently folds out onto the screen.

In case you haven’t figured it out, the Prius is targeted at wealthy urban women who think of themselves as eco-friendly. The Tundra Pickup is targeted at men who think of themselves as rugged and hard-working.

Here’s the point: men and women respond to different imagery. Sure, there are always exceptions, but the genders as a whole are quite predictable. Advertisers know this. So they customize their sales pitches. Toyota would never use flowers and dancing children to sell a pickup truck because men would hate it. It goes against everything men believe about themselves.

Which leads us to the church. Without realizing it, many churches have created a Prius-like culture. We focus heavily on relationships. Healing. Nurturing. Harmony. We decorate with flowers, quilts, ribbons and lace. Our ministries revolve around domestic tasks such as cooking, childcare, and education.

And we’ve softened our message. We’ve cleaned up the grit, grime and danger. The gospel is no longer a hazardous mission – it’s a personal relationship. It’s about family harmony. Getting along with others. Being nice.

No wonder we’re having trouble motivating men to commit.

Fortunately, there’s a book that can help any church recapture the adventure of following Jesus. It’s called THE BIBLE. It’s pages are stained with blood. It’s very message is danger.  As one of my favorite pastors often said, “The Gospel, properly followed, will kill you.”

So as you watch football commercials this weekend, ask yourself: is my church putting a Prius spin on the gospel? Are we unwittingly targeting women with our message and ministries? If so, how can we recapture the dangerous message Christ proclaimed?


I am concerned about our young men today. They seem to be growing up a lot slower than when I was young. A 25-year-old of today is practically the equivalent of an 18-year-old, when I was young. When I was 18 the expected norm was for a young man to move out on his own and get his own place. But today you have a lot of 25-year-old’s still living at home with mom. At best, they have a part-time job and spend the rest of the day on Xbox. Sure somebody could say, well the economy is bad. There is no full-time work out there. What’s wrong with getting a second part time job?

But my bigger frustration is the fact that the church does nothing about it. Now if the church was supposed be a place where people were supposed to grow and mature, how come they are not addressing this? I think the church is afraid of pushing too hard. Maybe they feel it’s better to be somewhat politically correct and be gentle on these young men as to not drive them away. Maybe the church feels it’s better to cater to these young men and provide all sorts of fun programs to keep them entertained instead of pushing them out of their comfort zone and teach responsibility and commitment. After all the more people you have attending churches is the benchmark of success isn’t it? So we as the church have joined the world in making things easier for young men. We can make all sorts of excuses as to why this is happening in our culture today. However, this is destroying young men, and it’s destroying relationships between husbands and wives, and is destroying our country.

Men need to experience adversity, especially young men. A man’s character is forged in the heat of adversity and confrontation. So in saying all this I would like to ask my readers to respond to a few questions or circumstances. How should a man handle the following situations. These are scenarios of difficulties that arise in a mans life. Some may seem funny, but the do cause discomfort.

  1. He gets a flat tire.
  2. He takes a girl on a date, and she lets him know in no uncertain terms, that he is to never open the car door for her.
  3. He sees two guys picking on and tormenting another man.
  4. His best friend is being a jerk to his wife. (the jerks wife)
  5. A young boy is being picked on by a bully at school.
  6. In a church youth group, you see everybody jumping up and down, boys and girls alike are acting very emotional, but it makes you feel uncomfortable.
  7. In church, you are being told to hold the hand of the man next to you. Seriously, this makes men feel uncomfortable, yet they still do it. Why?

Well, I’m sure I could think of more but I tried to think of things that are common and address different areas of a man’s life. Some are just related to difficult situations, others to male-female relationships. Others are related to fear of getting hurt and lastly, one is related to, or two actually are related to doing something different just than the mainstream.

So I’m curious as to how you think men should respond to these situations.

I have been pondering the verse Romans 12:9 “Don’t just pretend to love others” (New Living Translation) ever since Barb posted it on the previous article.

For those that know me, you know that I have for a long time been strongly opposed to any form of legalism or playing church.  The above verse says “don’t just pretend to love others” which means to truly love others. So this begs a question. How do we truly love others? Or is it possible to truly love others? I know I truly love my wife and kids. I also know that I truly love some Christians.

Why do I love my wife and kids? Because they are my flesh and blood and because we have developed a relationship. How can we truly love other Christians when we don’t really know them? Can a person love God without knowing Him? He might respect God for who He is but can he truly love Him without knowing Him? I don’t think so.  Anyone who loves another does so because of the relationship they have developed.

I say all this because I feel so sorry for so many people I see in church who are to busy doing church that they aren’t really loving each other. Sure they mouth the words “I love you” but their hearts aren’t really in it.  Over time they repeat this over and over and forget what really is important. I miss the days of meeting with a few close brothers from the motorcycle club and loving on each other and sharing with each other all our fears and concerns. Churches today seem to busy making things perfect that everything is superficial at best.

I have tried to interject myself into other men at church and keep hitting a wall. But I will keep trying if it kills me. People! We need to slow down and walk with each other. Have you ever seen runners at a track meet? Do you think they can carry on a conversation when they are running at full speed. If they would only walk they might just be able to breath enough to get a few words out. When words come out relationships begin.

This is good stuff, to bad todays culture in America has lost this. It would be awesome if Christian men could grab hold of this and run!

The Knights Code of Chivalry and the vows of Knighthood

The Knights Code of Chivalry described in the Song of Roland and an excellent representation of the Knights Codes of Chivalry are as follows:

  • To fear God and maintain His Church
  • To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succour to widows and orphans
  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward
  • To fight for the welfare of all
  • To obey those placed in authority
  • To guard the honour of fellow knights
  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
  • To keep faith
  • At all times to speak the truth
  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
  • To respect the honour of women
  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
  • Never to turn the back upon a foe

Of the seventeen entries in the Knights Codes of Chivalry, according to the Song of Roland, at least 12 relate to acts of chivalry as opposed to combat.

via Knights Code of Chivalry.

I was at the church today doing my normal volunteering. A couple days a week I help out with handyman stuff that need fixing. I called my wife who was at work and I told her to pray for me because I was in a funk. I told her I was tired of pushing, tired of trying to make a difference.  It feels like men don’t get it. And that is exasperating to me.

Well I went about my business and not more than 15 minutes later my prayer was answered.  Someone from the church approached me and we talked about my passion. He agreed and he asked me to join him in starting a group that deals with the issues I have been addressing.

On another note I have been thinking about how the bible says “we are to love Jesus.” I am studying what that means for the two genders. Obviously each gender expresses love in different ways. Furthermore each person has their own way which has been formed from the past hurts, pains, joys, and experiences.

I want to take this a step further and study how the church has expressed devotion to the Lord through the different church periods.

Men need something to do in church. They need something to belong to that is making a difference. Not just a bible study or ‘mens breakfast.’ Men need to feel like they are part of something big and important. All to often us men go to church with our families week after week and then that’s it. Maybe once a month we go to a ‘mens breakfast’ and then maybe a yearly retreat.

If you are blessed, you might have a good powerful sermon aimed at empowering your soul and rallying you to war. But after the powerful sermon you go home. You share with your wife how awesome the sermon was and then you soon forget about it. I suppose the same thing happens to women. However, women are emotional creatures and the same powerful sermon leaves them feeling more complete. They walk away feeling much more satisfied then men do.

Remember the movie ‘Brave Heart’? The scene where Wallace (Mel Gibson) is riding his horse in front of his army and he is empowering them with his war speech, and all the men are becoming fierce. Their morale has catapulted to a height like never before,they are enthusiastic and ready to give their lives. I remember watching that scene and I was ready to go to war with them.

Well on a good day in church that happens, but then imagine being there with Wallace. He gives this awesome speech and you are pumped and ready. Then Wallace finishes his war rally and he says “see you next week.” What the heck just happened here? My adrenaline is pumping through my veins! My morale is at an all time high! I am ready to fight! And Wallace says “see you next week?”

I’m really confused…



The Church, Then and Now

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Jesus, Religion

The church used to be more than what is is today. It used to be the center of the community. Education, politics, town meetings, bartering, and even discipline was conducted at community churches. Suffice to say churches used to be the center of all activities within a community. Morality was taught and strong characters were forged in this environment. Church wasn’t just a place that only Christians went, but everyone went regardless if they really ever had a relationship with Christ or not. So obviously some people went out of tradition, or just plain boredom. But at least they heard the message or even had some morality instilled in them.

Church was also a place where people went for help when they were down and out. Some churches (bless them) are still able to do that. But because of laws, licenses, and litigation, a lot of churches have stopped. The government has been way to intrusive, just like they always are. Every aspect of our lives are strictly regulated by countless laws. The irony is that today people consider themselves to be free. Oops, I am writing about churches. (sigh)

My wife and I recently took a trip to Tennessee, we love all the trees and the four seasons. We have been warned by others that the South is different, that one of the first questions they ask is, “what church do you go to?” So I immediately assumed that we would run into a more legalistic attitude when we arrived there. But surprisingly, what I discovered was a very polite culture, especially compared to Californians. Everyone said sir and mam. Could this be because everybody went to church, regardless of if they believed or not? They definitely have a lot more churches than the West Coast. There was practically a church on every other corner. While I’ll bet they even still have Sunday School.

Here on the West Coast churches are much different. In the larger cities, Sunday school has for the most part gone by the wayside. Churches have become what’s called today as ‘seeker friendly.’ The sermons are more geared towards the new believer or someone who is seeking but not sure. It’s very hard to find an actual preacher and most of them are teachers, or life coaches. Funny how the Bible says that “by the foolishness of preaching men are saved.” I’m not sure why the preaching has stopped. Perhaps the churches have thought that preaching is scaring some people away. So no wonder we’re called the Church of Laodicea, ‘the lukewarm church.’ I believe that the Holy Spirit is perfectly capable to handle the affairs of men’s hearts.

Lastly, hymnals have become practically obsolete. Instead, churches exchanging them for a new pop culture version of love songs to Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I like some of pop culture songs, but the hymns were very important to me. I just wish some of the pop-culture song were a little more masculine though. I have a real hard time with the love songs. I need more of “you are my strong tower, a shelter in the wind.” I really do like my church but I have only heard a few of these.

I guess I just miss the old days