Serious subject? I suppose so, but try to define the difference between masculine and feminine these days. The dictionary is no help. So, I won’t waste pixels posting the definitions. Instead, I will just link to the post that led to this post, describe the discussion I had there, and explain what I think a princess and her frog has to do with the feminization of the Christian church in America.
Where did this all start? I’ll Take Wrath for 200, Alex! (insanitybytes2.wordpress.com). insanitybytes22 has a nice little rant condemning someone who apparently claims to be a proud member of the male patriarchy. I am not unsympathetic, and I suppose I should have just shut up and moved on to something else, but think about what happens when a gal like insanitybytes22 vents. Some stupid guy is not content to just listen and let the lady cool off. He tries to fix her problem, and he just makes things worse.
So what did I do? I left a comment here, but that is really not the subject of this post. Here is the part that started off the discussion on the feminization of the church.
One of the things that the Bible observes is that with respect to religion men tend to follow the lead of their wives. Why? I suspect most women would understand that better than men, but my guess is that women think Christian men make better husbands, and wives are always trying to do a makeover on their husbands.
The headache with liberal churches of our era is that they are designed to make women happy, that is, they have feminized the Gospel and the Bible. So, most men want nothing to do with these churches and “their Bible,” and that is one reason why liberal churches are slowly dying. Whereas men tend to follow the lead of their wives with respect to religion, children tend imitate their fathers. Why? I don’t know, but that seems to be Biblical too.https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2021/09/30/ill-take-wrath-for-200-alex/#comment-124651
Frankly, when I wrote that comment I had not given much thought about the matter. What does it mean to feminize the church? How do I put that thought into words? Oops! I had spoken before I had thought. Well, that got me in trouble, of course. jilldomschot responded.
I know “feminine” is the dirtiest of all dirty words to most Christian men, but I can rarely get them to define what that means. They will often claim it’s the music, and then when it turns out most praise songs are still written by men, they are “feminized” men. I honestly don’t understand the hatred men have for anything feminine. Why do they want to marry us, anyway? Has everyone gone Greek? Men are spiritual and intellectual and women are base material beings like animals? It’s a mystery to me.https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2021/09/30/ill-take-wrath-for-200-alex/#comment-124654
When I was coming of age, the modern feminist movement was just getting going. Unlike the feminists of previous eras, modern feminists did not have simple, well defined issue on their agenda. The gals of that earlier time knew exactly what they wanted, the right to vote (Let’s skip pass the prohibitionists.). Since the feminists of the 1970’s did not have a well defined problem they were trying to solve, the saner ladies stepped aside went about getting something useful done. The nuttier ladies focused on proving women are just as good as men. How? By trying to abolish any laws that recognize differences between the sexes.
No differences between the sexes? Seriously. Well, some of the ladies were serious, and they still are. Eventually, women divided over the issue, and they fought among themselves. So, the so-called Equal Rights Amendment failed.
Why mention battles that go back to the 1970’s and 1980’s? We live in a time unique in human history. For most of history, human societies have been patriarchal. On occasion women have reigned, but that has been the rare exception, not the rule. To a large extent women have only welded power to the extent one of them was able to influence a powerful man, which has never been especially unusual.
In our day and in our country, women exercise a great deal of political, financial, and cultural power directly. Therefore, there is a tug-of-war over the character of our society. Because women now have so much power, in every sphere of our society, we struggle over whether our society will be masculine or feminine in character.
Can we find and achieve a reasonable and appropriate balance between the masculine and feminine? Not any time soon. We cannot even agree whether biological sexes actually exist and matter more than “gender choice,” Hence, just mentioning the feminization of the church aroused a lady’s ire.
Why did I have trouble putting my thoughts into words? The subject is almost taboo, especially if a man wants to talk about it. Nonetheless, we need to talk about it.
Are people talking about it? Yes. Here are some examples.
- The Feminization of the Church (biola.edu)
- herchurch (herchurch.org)
- 15 Characteristics Of Biblical Femininity (thepeacefulhaven.com)
- WHY FEMINISM AND CHRISTIANITY CAN’T MIX (girldefined.com)
- A REAL WOMAN? DEFINING BIBLICAL FEMININITY (livehope.org)
What does it mean for a church to be feminized? Since the terms masculine and feminine are so poorly defined, that is difficult to say. However, with respect to Christianity the authority of the Bible is paramount. So, let’s focus on a proper understanding of scripture. In our day, Liberal Christian churches tend to interpret scripture more loosely. What do Liberal Christian churches believe? Consider some references.
- Seven Characteristics of Liberal Theology (thegospelcoalition.org)
- What is liberal Christian theology? (https://www.gotquestions.org/liberal-Christian-theology.html)
- Jesus’ resurrection Alternative beliefs by some liberal & mainline Christians, secularists, etc. (religioustolerance.org)
- The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity (progressivechristianity.org)
What are we supposed to glean from references such as the above? Let’s consider a comment I left for jilldomschot.
When people say the church has been feminized, that addresses the state of of the church, not who is to blame or how exactly this feminization happened.
The Bible is the revelation of God. When we read the Bible correctly, then the Bible tells us about the character of the One we must love with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. When we impose our own desires upon the Bible, we create an idol.
What does the Liberal church believe?https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2021/09/30/ill-take-wrath-for-200-alex/comment-page-1/#comment-124696
— we can pick and choose from the Bible what we want to believe (discard the “myths”). This leads lots of people to become red letter Christians, and they don’t even pay much attention to those red letters.
— God is love, love, love; He will accept us exactly as we are
— Jesus was just a good, moral teacher
— Hell does not exist.
— God is into “social justice,” not justice.
All the beliefs of the Liberal Christian church are not feminine, but which are?
Consider that picture above. What is the dream of so many young women, a handsome and charming young man who will treat them like a princess? Think I am joking? Remember How Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s Wedding Became a Global Phenomenon (history.com). The ladies loved it. The guys? Not so much.
To make the church attractive to the ladies, too many pastors have turned Jesus into a frog prince, but He is God, not Prince Charming disguised as a peasant from the Palestine of 30 A.D.
Jesus did not come out of a fairytale. He came to us as a babe from heaven. He preached a message of repentance and redemption. He died on a cross for our sins. He rose from the dead. He returned to heaven, leaving behind the Holy Spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit His apostles preached His Gospel and spread it to the ends of the world.
Jesus and His Bible tells of a just, holy, and scary powerful God. Scary! Not safe, but good. Yet Liberal Christian churches have tried to reduce Jesus to something purely happy and safe, a frog that becomes Prince Charming. A joy for a great many ladies, but a bore for most men.
What the Bible actually tells us about God may be frightening, but the truth is more ultimately more satisfying for everyone. Those who believe in and put their faith in the real Jesus go to heaven. What happens to those who don’t? Well, if you know about the real Jesus, you know He had much to say about the alternative, but you won’t hear much about in a Liberal Christian church.
Be a man. Get the whole story about Jesus. Read the Bible.
Be a woman. Learn about a man who really deserves our worship. Read the Bible.
Is feminism the sole reason for the distortion of the Bible? No. It is just a small part of the problem. How do I expect this part of the problem to get solved? Well, most such problems never actually get solved, Every generation has to learn again what past generations learned, but my guess is that for the sake of their sons mothers will debate and seek that kind of society (or community) that provides a reasonable and appropriate balance between masculine or feminine characteristics.
Will men participate in the debate? Not to a great degree. The conundrum for men is this. How does a man argue with an angry women? He doesn’t.
I suppose in theory our forebears would have beaten an angry woman into submission, but Christian men are not supposed to do that. We can, however, set the best example we can for our sons and daughters. If we did, that would be a great improvement.