Over the past few weeks I've been reading a verity of things that have all got me thinking about the way the Church seems to be masculinity. The first was an article at the Art of Manliness which addressed the decline of masculinity in our culture. I found myself in agreement with the article. It seems that in our society in which Egalitarianism and Feminism are the dominate worldviews, men get left out in the cold. These doctrines, in a reaction to Aristotelian chauvinism, promotes the idea that men are women are identical. Despite this, there is almost the suggestion that women are superior. Women can do anything and everything. Men are only good for so much. As such, masculinity has become a vice and not a virtue.
Later, I was reading an article by Dr. John Piper which really brought home to me the dangers of the Church accepting these philosophies. The result has been the emasculation of the Body of Christ. Now, understand that I'm not advocating the complete defeminizing of the Church. Throughout the Bible God gives us certain word pictures of terminologies that will appeal to both men (the armor of God) and women (the Bride of Christ). However, contemporary Christian seems to be reaching out almost entirely to women and children.
Across the board, women are generally more religious than men. I think that's because we guys seem to struggle with more egotistical pride. We don't like to submit to anyone, much less God. As such, preachers and church leaders have tried to appeal to their base and in doing so have emasculated the Church. Walk into most churches and you'll see a festive arrangement of pink, baby blue and lemon yellow. The music is hyper-emotional and a very love song-esque.
Notice that I'm not saying women don't have a part in the Church. Women have a vital part and the total removal of Christianity's feminine elements would be equally fatal. However, that's not the problem our culture faces. We guys have failed to do our part. Most men in the Church are either chauvinists who abuse their power or cowards who avoid it.
Thankfully, we are beginning to see an increased awareness of the this issue. Many of the young up-and-coming preachers, such as Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler, have made this a signature of their respective churches. The New Reformed movement has also made Complementarianism a doctrinal staple. It's no longer just those crazy Quiverfullist and family-integrated churches that are aware of the problem. Many of the more mainstream churches are also waking up to it.
However, this will ultimately need to happen on an individual level. We guys need to start taking responsibility and initiative. Servant leadership needs to be prized virtue among young men again.We need a return to courageous manhood in which guys aren't afraid to take a few hits for a just cause. We need to start leading through humility and not self-centered dominance. I believe that the extent to which we respond to this "man crisis" will determine the Church's effectiveness in the upcoming generation.