Why men leave church...

When I was serving my former churches (a yoked parish of two congregations) an hour north of Madison, Wisconsin, a young man working toward a graduate degree at UW(Madison) served the congregations as a pastoral intern and we became close. As time went by, he decided to enter the ministry and to train at the Christian Reformed Church's Calvin Seminary.

Even then, back in the eighties, Calvin Seminary was going down the tube. Turning our backs on God's Order of Creation, Adam first then Eve, was all the rage and Calvin was drowning in this rebellion. Dutchmen were reaping the fruit of their diffident-to-cold relationships with their wives and children and, having sown the wind, they were about to reap the whirlwind.

Ortega y Gasset pointed out that true thinking begins with exaggeration, you understand.

Another pastor in the area was on the board of Calvin and he told us the school was going liberal and it was only a matter of time before the Christian Reformed Church would follow...the feminist revolutionaries of her seminary and approve the ordination of women as elders and ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

Prior to his matriculation, my friend visited Calvin a few times and saw the school was just like UW(Madison), but with the Bible and Jesus Christ trotted out to lend a certain respectability to their rebellion. After settling his affairs in Madison, my friend and his wife were off to Grand Rapids. Before leaving they came up to Pardeeville to visit us and, as they left, my friend said to me, "Tim, you've got to hold me accountable not to give in to Calvin's feminism."

...but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (1Timothy 3:15)

I've never forgotten it. Sadly, there was no holding him accountable once Calvin became his alma mater. It's very difficult to get babies to spit out poison while they're nursing, but this wasn't just one bottle of contaminated milk. It was a whole bulk tank.

About twenty years later, this man was a pastor of the CRC which had long since approved woman exercising authority over man as elders and pastors. We only had contact every five years or so and one night he called and asked if I had some time to talk? I said "yes," and he explained he was in a church where they were having difficulty attracting men. The church was filled with women and he wondered if I had any suggestions as to how they could turn it around and get some men in the church?

Here at Clearnote Church in Bloomington, we're having a Men's Carnivore Cookout tomorrow night to kick off a new year of our Saturday morning David's Mighty Men training. David's Mighty Men is a three-year-curriculum training men in the biblical duties of sons, husbands, fathers, and grandfathers in our households, the Household of Faith, and the city gates. For about seven years, now, we're averaged around fifty men in attendance and it's one of the most Biblical and helpful works done in our congregation.

So did I tell my friend about our Men's Carnivore Cookout or David's Mighty Men?

No, I didn't bother with that. It wouldn't help. Instead I explained it would be hard for him to get men involved in a church with women officers who rebuke and admonish and correct and exhort and teach men.

Men do not and will not compete with women. They can't. So the church that has women exercising authority over men is dead in the water. The men will leave: first, spiritually and emotionally; and then, numerically. And as time passes, the numbers will tell what idolatrous ideology tries to hide.

All those clean, organized, emotionally distant Dutchmen (can you picture a Dutchman crying and hugging and kissing the Apostle Paul down at the harbor in Miletus?) said "yes" to Domine when he told them they should accept the new ways and not be such male chauvinist pigs refusing their bitter wives and oh-so-very-bright daughters their rightful place using their gifts of church leadership given them by the Holy Spirit. (Yes, that bit about gifts is a main talking point among the rebels.) So weighted down with bad consciences over the way they've failed to love their wives and daughters, the men caved and their beloved CRC began ordaining women elders and pastors.

Meanwhile Calvin moved on from discussing women's ordination to discussing sodomy.

For the men of the CRC, the change was a relief, really. Home visitations had been such a burden for men who had cleanliness at top of their hierarchy of needs, so the guys were happy to stay home while their wives went off to church and met with the Domine to discuss the budget and the security of the children in the nursery--that's what consistory meetings became. The years have passed and now those men's sons have noted their Dad's heart isn't in church, so after first communion they've left the church and many of them now are Christless.

Twenty years later my friend was on the phone asking how he could get men to come to church?

Please sit down and fasten your seat belt for this one.

Leadership is male. This is the plain teaching of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation and those who defy God in this matter will be crushed by the DNA God has placed in man (using that noxious word as God Himself ordained it to be used throughout His Word--as a male inclusive). The male sex doesn't and won't and can't compete with woman because he is made by God to lead and provide for and protect woman. Look at her breasts. Look at his shoulders. That's our natural revelation moment for the day.

A week or so ago I was reading an account of the Olympics mixed-doubles tennis competition and one of the U.S. competitors, a woman, was joking about her male partner. The mainstream media reported with neither gasp nor exclamation mark her comment that, in their next match, she didn't expect her man to smash the ball at the woman on the other side of the net. He was no cad, she said. In other words, he went easy on their female opponents and reserved his greatest aggression for his male opponents.

For ten or twelve years I watched my youngest son, Taylor, play soccer on a travelling soccer club. Once in a while his team had to play a team with a female player or two or three. Every last time this happened, you watched the boys back off the girls.

After one of those games in which the boys' deference tied their hands for the entire game, I asked Taylor if the coach had said anything to them about the girls during halftime? He said yes, his coach had ordered them to go as hard at the girls as they did at the boys. Then Taylor added in a soft voice as if to himself, "None of us would ever do that."

Not sure what I had heard, I asked Taylor to clarify and it was just as it had appeared the first time around. In a condescending way he explained to his stupid father that no boy would ever slide-tackle or check or even shoulder any girl. Ever.

Understand that, except for Taylor and one or two boys, the other members of his team were from liberated university and university-corrupted households whose brains had been power-washed leaving no trace of that benighted antediluvian life-form of Christian manhood. To every one of them the command of God that woman not teach or exercise authority over man was dead-dead-dead. Their mothers earned more than their fathers, there was no family dinner, and they were there playing soccer games around the state on Sunday mornings when Taylor and I were in church worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet not one of those boys had been gelded severely enough to erase the DNA that kept him from slide tackling a girl.

Here's the moral.

If you're in a church where weddings are gender-neutered and the pastor avoids preaching and teaching on God's Order of Creation; where women and men serve together without distinction as deacons or "deeks"; where women serve the Lord's Supper alongside the pastor and elders; where good-looking blonds lead the worship music and read the Scripture and pray and everything else in worship except maybe preaching; where brashness is a family value and all the daughters are above average and headed to Wheaton for their inspiration to change the world; where little boys are on Ritalin and older boys are not allowed to hunt or even shoot, and certainly not own any gun; where the dogs are mere whisps of air and cats rule; where the custodian goes to a Baptist church and the only blacks work in the nursery and are paid; and of course, where men are silent, absent, and rich enough to have lots of toys...

Run!

Sex is the most basic category of our lives and those who claim the Name of Christ while denying sex any transcendent meaning or purpose are not disciples of Christ because they are not obeying some of the most basic and all-encompassing commands He gives us day after day by His Spirit and Word.

If we can live our entire lives without submitting to His commands concerning who we are, man or woman; if we can sit in church for Lord's Day after Lord's Day without receiving simple clear commands to submit to and obey our husbands and to provide for and lead and protect our wives, we are not a part of a church where the Word is rightly preached.

And where the Word of God is not rightly preached, there is no true church.

The notes of the true Kirk, therefore, we believe, confess, and avow to be: first, the true preaching of the Word of God, in which God has revealed himself to us, as the writings of the prophets and apostles declare; secondly, the right administration of the sacraments of Christ Jesus, with which must be associated the Word and promise of God to seal and confirm them in our hearts; and lastly, ecclesiastical discipline uprightly ministered, as God's Word prescribes, whereby vice is repressed and virtue nourished. - Chapter 18, The Scots Confession.

The church that avoids God's Order of Creation in her preaching and teaching and discipline does not have the true preaching of the Word of God. How can any Christian church defy God and His Word concerning the meaning and purpose of sexuality and still be considered part of the Church of the Living God, the Household of God, the pillar and foundation of the truth?

Where the marks of the church are missing, it's time to depart for a true church where you and your family will be fed and rebuked and exhorted and encouraged in that most basic place of your being--your manhood or your womanhood.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

Would there be a way to get a hold of the curriculum you mention?

Nicely done, Tim.  This is one of your better ones...

And if you can't run?

I'm thinking Pastor Stephen Baker will respond.

Love,

>>And if you can't run?

Hide. But seriously, concerning the choice among churches in these United States today, my dear mother used to say, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

Love,

Most excellent post Mr. Bayly.   As I like to say,  ultimately "testosterone will rule."

I hope so. This sounds like it would be really useful for our church at the moment.

Thanks, Tim. 

Nice post! Well-done.

Thank you. This was a needed admonishment as our family continues the church-search!

Kevin, I would be happy to talk with you about our David's Mighty Men program. If you email me, I will send you my phone number and we can talk about it.

sbaker at shepherdchurch dot com.

You need to be sure to add Steven Goldberg's Why Men Rule (originally published under the title The Inevitability of Patriarchy) to your library, especially if you're involved in any regular contact with feminists (religious or otherwise).

Goldberg is was NOT a Christian when he wrote this book (I assume he still is not), and this makes his anthropological research all the more valuable, since it cannot be dissed because a Christian wrote it!

The book raised a firestorm of protest from the usual suspects.  Check out the comments at Amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Men-Rule-Theory-Dominance/product-reviews/

for an entertaining interlude.  In the foreward to the original book, he notes that he submitted his research to 67 different publishers before he found one that was willing to print it.

"And if you can't run?"

People will relocate across great distances for the sake of their employment; why not for the sake of joining a good church? I know that not everyone can do that, but if it's possible, it'll be more valuable for your eternal soul than the salary increase you might get at the new job that's on the other side of the country. Rather than relocating for my job, I endured a miserable commute for 5 years so that I could be in a good church; and I would do it again if that's what it took to be in a good church. A friend of mine relocated from the west coast to the midwest so that he could be in a good church; he arrived without a job, and when he got one his salary was less than it had been out west; but it was worth it.

Tim,

In my parish, roughly half of our lay readers are men are women. At each service, two read all of the Scriptures appointed for the day except for the Gospel, and lead the congregation in the Prayers of the People. We also have about an equal number of male and female chalicists (who distribute the wine during Holy Communion; only priests can serve the bread). We are not under a quota system from our Bishop to do so. When an opening in these positions comes up, our rector prays about who might be a candidate and asks that person to pray about whether if this what he or she thinks God wants him or her to do.

The priest who celebrates Holy Communion that day usually does all the announcements, although laypeople with more information about a particular event will sometimes be called on (man or woman) to provide more information.

We have two strong, healthy organizations (Brotherhood of St. Andrew for men and Daughters of the Holy Cross for women) that combine Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and ministry to our church and beyond. In addition, both groups require a fair amount of time in out-of-class study and service projects.

In my parish, there doesn't seem to be a large difference between the number of adult men and women, except among the elderly, where there are more women than men, but I assume that's just because on average women outlive men.

Please don't take this as a "nana-a-boo-boo", my church does is better than yours -- not in a heartbeat. I just wanted to illustrate although that we do some things differently from you, and perhaps because we have strong men's and women's ministries in place, we don't have a "testosterone deficiency".

Dear Sue,

It's difficult to translate my concerns applying to Reformed churches across the divide to Anglican churches. In Reformed churches, the reading of Scripture lessons is often instructional and includes exhortation. We don't simply read the text and leave it at that. Thus we normally use officers or officers in training to the read the Scripture lessons; and of course, the pastor reads the sermon text himself and explains and exhorts from it, so that also is done by a man.

We don't want women teaching and exercising authority over men. That's the Biblical principle.

Were I an Anglican priest, I'd likely do as your rector has done in many of the things you mentioned. For instance, we have women do occasional announcements and sometimes they read Scripture. But our polity is entirely different. Start with the fact we presbyterians believe in the plurality of the eldership whereas Anglicans don't.

And since we live in a world where women lead and teach and exercise authority over men in everything and everywhere, we're happy to have men lead in the Household of God--pastors, deacons, elders, and officers in training. Of course there are many women in serious leadership in our church, but again, their leadership is not over men.

Their leadership is not over men.

It sounds to me like your women serving the Lord's Supper are not responsible for exercising the power of the keys in your congregation--only one man, your priest, does that--and thus those serving (women) are not those opening and closing the Sacraments to the souls of the parish. Understand that's why our elders and pastors serve the Lord's Supper. It's the natural function of the men who admit and bar the souls from the Table.

I'm not Anglican, so I don't know if anyone ever teaches and exercises authority over the men of your congregation other than your priest?

Finally, a number of the things I mentioned in the paragraph preceding the exhortation "Run!" were not intrinsically wrong, and certainly not because they violated God's Order of Creation. I was using shorthand to describe a certain type of Reformed church where that set of things is a clear indication of a pastor and elders who are embarrassed by God and His Word concerning especially God's Order of Creation.

Love,

And since we live in a world where women lead and teach and exercise authority over men in everything and everywhere, we're happy to have men lead in the Household of God--pastors, deacons, elders, and officers in training.

The larger cultural context expressed in the statement above applies just as much to an Anglican as to a Reformed congregational context.  For that reason, in our own Anglican parish, though women might function in our worship service as lectors (so long as they were covered), we have only men serve as lectors.  And, the deacon (a man) also assists at the altar as a chalice bearer.  The acolyte is also a young man.

As they are always permitted to do, women in our parish are present and participating (from the nave) while designated, qualified, and trained men are up-front and leading as lectors, lay readers (a true leadership role during Morning or Evening Prayer), chalice servers, acolytes, preacher, and presider at the Eucharist.  Of course, there are always men in the pews who are present and participating in the same capacities and functions as the women.  And the participation of the women is active, not passive: they sing with everyone else, they recite the Creed with everyone else, they speak and chant the congregational parts of the Eucharistic liturgy, along with everyone else.  

And, women speak solo and audibly during the Prayers of the People at the places appointed for individual men and women to offer either petitions or thanksgivings. The women are believer-priests and excercise that priesthood -- as part of the gathered body or as individuals -- where appropriate in the worship liturgy. Again, they are -- in compliance with Paul's instruction -- covered when they pray.

So, the theoreteical "room" for women in participate in any given aspect of our Anglican worship is not the only factor affecting what actually happens on Sunday morning.  It is part of our congregational resistance to the spirit of the age (and the winds of heresy coursing through the churches) to offer our worship to God in a way that shows our commitment to creation order and Apostolic teaching in 1 Corinthians 11 and the Pastorals.

I agree that God commands us women to be silent in worship and to hold no authority over the men.  Does that extend to the musical part of worship?  I ask because, Exodus states that Miriam led the daughters of Israel in a song of triumph after God used the Red Sea to destroy the Egyptians and that was clearly leading in worship (loudly too!  With tambourines!).  Also, I've never been to a church where women do not sing hymns/psalms in the congregation, but that is definitely not a silent activity.  Also, thank you for writing about this.  It was really encouraging to read this post.  It's good to see people more eloquent than I, expressing God's truth in ways that stir my heart. :) 

Hi, Fr. Bill,

In pre-Anglican days, my Protestant (not mainline, but evangelical) days, I was taught that head coverings for women was somewhat of a cultural issue in Corinth. I couldn't remember more than that, so I looked up the study notes for I Corinthians 11:14-15 in my NIV Life Application Study Bible, and they read in part...

"...women with short hair were labeled prostitutes. Paul was saying that in the Corinthian culture, women should keep their hair long. If short hair on women was a sign of prostitution, then a Christian woman with short hair would find it difficult to be a a believable witness for Christ. Paul wasn't saying we should adopt all the practices of our culture but that we should avoid appearances and behavior that detract from our goal from being witnesses for Jesus Christ.

In today's world, I assume that for women, this means dress well and modestly, but not be frumpy; if you look frumpy people will think Christians can't look nice and be stylish. Buy your clothes from Lands' End or L.L. Bean, not Abercrombie & Fitch. Wear an attractive hairstyle that makes you look like a woman, not like a man (not that you can't cut your hair, since some short cuts can be feminine).

For both guys and gals, don't cover your bodies with so many tattoos, piercings, etc., that you'll never feel comfortable on your job with short sleeves, even if the temperature approaches 100 degrees.  Also, how will you explain that "body art" to your kids someday? And will your appearance detract from your Christian witness.

It seems to me that you see this issue differently and take the term "head covering" literally, but I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

Thanks,

Sue

P.S. I belong to a parish associated with the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).

Hi Tim,

I want to respond to your post, but I can't right now because my coach will turn into a pumpkin extra early tonight.

--Sue

Dear Mrs. McKeown,

Look at the the method of interpreting Scripture that your anonymous study note writer uses.  He claims that the Apostle Paul's reasoning was cultural, having to do with prostitution.

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul gives reasons:

  1. Reasons of headship: Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ (v.3)
  2. Reasons of disgrace: Because it is disgraceful not to cover just as it is disgraceful for a woman to shave her head (vv. 5-6)
  3. Differing glories: because man is the glory of God and woman is the glory of man; thus man should be uncovered and woman covered (v.7)
  4. Because of the creation order (vv. 8-9)
  5. Because of the angels (v.10)

Is the man no longer the head of a woman, and Christ no longer the head of every man, or God no longer the head of Christ? Was this structure a temporary thing set up only for the Corinthians? (Certainly not)

Is it no longer a disgrace for a woman to have a shaved head? (It certainly remains a disgrace)

Was man the glory of God and woman the glory of man a temporary thing only applicable in the days of the Corinthians? (What nonsense we're talking!)

Has the creation order changed?

Mrs. McKeown, I know that you speak for many when you suggest these alternatives to headcoverings and I'm not singling you out -- everybody thinks this way -- but when we compare our alternatives to the Scriptures, it's obvious that our alternatives have almost nothing in common with the Apostle's command.

Dress modestly/non-frumpy

  • It's good to dress modestly, but does doing so demonstrate particularly that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ like head coverings do?  No.
  • Does it draw a distinction between the differing glories of man and woman? No (unless you're suggesting that men have the same obligation to dress frumpily and/or immodestly that women have not to)
  • Does it highlight the creation order? No (again, unless men are called to do the opposite)

"For both guys and gals, don't cover your bodies with so many tattoos, piercings, etc."

Maybe this would avoid disgrace, but that's only one of the reasons the Holy Spirit gives. What about headship, differing glories, or the creation order? Limiting tattoos doesn't answer to any of these purposes.

If there's a modern equivalent to head coverings that answers to the Holy Spirit's purposes , I have yet to see it.

>>Does that extend to the musical part of worship? 

Again, there are times when women lead the musical worship of our church, but it's almost always in a visibly subordinate role to men or a man. (The exception is that we've had a woman direct our choir.) Thus I dont' believe the Biblical command that women be "silent" in the church precludes women singing or playing the piano or violin or drums or organ. But again, unless the women are singing alone and need a woman leading them, I can't think of many places where I wouldn't choose a man to lead the music were one available. Why?

Because part of our confessing our faith in this evil day is pointing to God's Order of Creation in such a way that Biblical sexuality is restored among the Church of Jesus Christ, the pillar and foundation of God's Truth. Thus we do everything we can here at Clearnote Church, Bloomington to acclimate our university sophisticates to the male component of leadership and we do everything we can to find young men who can be trained to fulfill their manhood in this way. After all, there is the Indiana University School of Music nearby and the largest component of any department or school of IU in my church since I arrived here twenty years ago has always been from the School of Music.

This is not to address another larger issue related to women leading the music of worship, and that is the immodesty that prevails so often in Evangelical and Reformed churches. The clothing, breathing, and musical styles of these women leaders are often so sexualized as to cause me to leave wondering why, following the benediction, the wives in the service don't go and slap their sisters in Christ for coming on to their husbands under the guise of leading worship?

Seriously.

Love,

I think this subject is the "elephant" in the room (or rather in the church).

Which would you say came first, the passivity of men in the church, or the assertion of female leadership there?

Sometimes I think it is the former that leads to the latter.  Either way, I believe that you are correct that it is clearly a problem.  Every member (men & women alike) is gifted and called to serve in some way, but that does not mean that that every member (men & women alike) are called to lead the church.

Thanks, Andy

Hi Faith,

if I may add, I think if you read the context of 1Cor 14:26-40 it is quite clear that Paul is not forbidding women from singing hymns. As I see it the context of the silence command is one of an individual getting up to give a public address to the congregation (cf 1Cor14:26, 29). The freedom to sing is confirmed in vs 28 where it says the tongue speaker must be 'silent' yet he may 'speak to himself and to God' - thus his silence is clearly only limited to public address since he may still 'speak to himself and to God' - which is how the speech form of congregational singing is expressed. If you are interested in further reading along this line you may like to refer to this excellent exposition by Steve Atkerson:

http://www.ntrf.org/articles/article_detail.php?PRKey=16

Re. Miriam, don't you think it is noteworthy that she is specifically noted to have led only the women? The men did not go out after her. How could that be done in a mixed sex church service? This is aside from the interesting mention in 1Cor14:26 that the one who brings 'a hymn' for the assembly to sing (closest thing to our 'worship leader'?) is not to be a woman (vs 33-36).

Would love to hear some views from others on these texts...

p.s.

Tim, I noticed your mention of a lady playing the drums? Not wanting to be legalistic but I've often felt that this instrument should be assigned to a man as it is probably the most masculine instrument going (at least in UK culture) and one that mainly only young men naturally choose to play. I guess we could have the gals playing the electric guitars and bass and drums and the guys playing the flutes etc.. but to me that seems the parts would have been wrongly assigned, no? Western culture may be different over there in the States though... (I don't really believe that!)... and some instruments are unisex.

>>Which would you say came first, the passivity of men in the church, or the assertion of female leadership there?

Concerning the feminist rebellion against God, I've never been much for establishing blame and I claim the Apostle Paul as my justification. Men need to love their wives and wives need to submit to their husbands at home. Period. And same at church. I'm sure there's plenty of blame on both sides, but which came first seems to be a fool's errand.

>>Tim, I noticed your mention of a lady playing the drums? Not wanting to be legalistic but I've often felt that this instrument should be assigned to a man...

Yup, me too. I was kidding, kind of. But I have it on good authority that Miriam's timbrel was a percussion instrument.

Love,

In our parish, our choir leads our worship under the direction of the choir director in our second traditional service and our worship band leads our contemporary service.  (A first traditional service has only organ music).

There is no problem with immodesty in dress in the service with the choir because everyone wears traditional high-necked ankle-length robes. In the contemporary service the worship band dresses casually, but modestly. Women wear a skirt/blouse, pants/blouse, or dress. Men wear polo shirts, t-shirts w/Christian messages, and knee-length shorts or pants and warmer clothing in the winter.

This is somewhat of a tangent, but I have a friend who is a long-time acolyte and knows our rector pretty well. He told her that it is difficult for him to keep his mind on distributing the body of Christ during Holy Communion when there are so many women kneeling at the altar rail with cleavage right in front of him.

Dear Daniel (a/k/a Mr. Moyer),

You have certainly given me things to mull over. I wonder, though, if it's possible that a woman's head covering could be considered her hair?

Thanks,

Sue

>I'm not Anglican, so I don't know if anyone ever teaches and exercises authority over the men of your congregation other than your priest?

As a matter of fact, yes. Here are some examples:

  • Our vestry (our parish's governing body; not sure what would be similar in a PCA church) contains both men and women, elected by members of our parish. All our priests (we have had two part-time priests in the past but we have only our rector right now), serve at the pleasure of the vestry. A vestry subcommittee performs priests' yearly evaluation and makes salary increase recommendations for priests to the entire vestry. 
  • A nominating committee with men and women selects candidates for open vestry seats.
  • Our junior and senior high youth groups are led by a team that includes a young married couple, a married man (his wife can't serve with him because of health problems), and two single women. The first among equals is a single woman. 
  • Our Small Groups Ministry Coordinator (a part-time position with a small stipend) is a woman. She has some authority over men (and women) because she has to approve of Bible study or other study materials used by each small group, most of which include men. She also sometimes chooses study materials that all small groups study simultaneously.
  • I think we have one small group for single adults (men and women) where the leader is a woman. She leads the Bible study or whatever they are working on. Depending on the type of the study, she might be teaching or just be facilitating. 
  • I think this is a real stretch, but you might not. Our parish recently ran the food pavilion at fund a raiser for a faith-based non-profit who provides food and small household appliances, no questions asked, for anyone in the county where we are located. From setup, to selling the food and drink, to tear down, our Volunteer Coordinator technically had authority over the men (and women) working in the pavilion. If she told a man to buy more ice, he bought more ice. If there was a problem with a power outlet, she'd ask a guy to look at it, etc. On the other hand, when I arrived for my shift, she told me that I'd be in charge of keeping the soda pop coolers stocked with cans of pop and ice, and pulling out cans of pop when the gals taking orders told me what a customer wanted to drink, so she had authority over me for the 2 hours when I was there. 

There probably are some others, but they aren't likely to be showstoppers and I'm too tired to remember them now. 

In Christ's love,

Sue

"I wonder, though, if it's possible that a woman's head covering could be considered her hair?"

No.  Her hair is ~her~ glory, even as ~she~ is the man's glory.  

Paul's argument is simple: when assembled for worship, God's glory (the man) should be uncovered, while the man's glory and the woman's glory should be covered.

The veil covers ~two~ glories -- the man's AND the woman's.

Thanks Tim.

My question wasn't so much seeking to assign blame (or ask whether the chicken or the egg came first), per se, but simply to try to understand the cause and the possible solution or even prevention.  That's all.

In other words, if male passivity in the church (i.e. a lack of our men fulfilling their God-ordained role as leaders) is a cause or contributing factor in the feminization of the church (rather than vice-versa), maybe that points the way toward the solution or prevention of that problem - strengthen the men in the church to understand, accept, and fulfill their leadership roles.  That is all I was getting at in my earlier post.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

 - Andy

>>My question wasn't so much seeking to assign blame

I know, dear brother, and I'm sorry for being so off-putting. It wasn't you or your question I was opposing, but the endless number of times I've had to listen to men playing the blame game around this issue, making women out to be victims by saying that all the rebellion would vanish if husbands simply loved their wives as Christ loved the Church. Was the Old Testament Church not rebellious against the rock and the manna which was Christ (1Corinthians 10)? Is the New Testament church not rebellious against the cup and the bread which is Christ (1Corinthians 10)? Was Adam not rebellious against God when he lived in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall?

I hope this makes my earlier comments more understandable.

Both women and men need to take ownership of our rebellion against God in the matter of our refusal to obey those sex-specific commands He gives us in His Word, not excusing ourselves or others by pointing out how difficult it is to submit to an unloving husband or to love a rebellious wife.

Love,

I make (a lot) more than my husband, and our church has some female leadership, paid nursery workers, and a 30-something very pretty lady and her very large family leading worship.

My husband likes our church, so we aren't leaving it, but it has really begun to bother me. I'm surprised it doesn't bother him. I've asked. Why do you think that is?

>>Why do you think that is?

Ummmm. Welllll. Ahemmmm.

Don't submit to him. Joke.

Sort of. I will pray for you.

Love,

Thank you!

There is an exception to every rule

>>There is an exception to every rule

Actually, to many, but not every rule. And here's the exception to that rule of patriarchy declared by God in the Garden prior to the Fall. The wife has authority over the husband's body:

The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. (1Corinthians 7:4)

One of the applications of this authority of the wife over her husband would be in a small group where she sees that her husband enjoys being around another woman who's in their group. Taking circumstances into account, it may well be proper authority of the wife over the husband to tell him she wants them to go to another small group and him not to talk to that woman again, if he can do so without making a scene.

Another application might well be a wife telling her husband that she insists that he and the family leave their present church and find one where the worship music leadership is not sexualized and seductive. It was this second application I thought might apply to you and your husband. I don't know how seductive the music leadership is in your church, but no one anywhere should attend a church where women are intentionally used sinfully during the worship of the Living God who declares we must be holy as He is holy.

What do I mean by "being used sinfully?" You tell me. 

Love,

Those are very helpful answers.  Thank you for taking the time to answer. :)

Yes. Thank you. I don't think she's being sinfully used. I think she is a good singer who is willing. She just happens to be a pretty girl. :-)

Two things need to be said: first, many women are placed in worship leadership for sinful reasons--whether as physical or ideological eye candy. And second, the best judge of what is going on sexually in worship is a man--not a woman.

Not being there, of course, I wouldn't know.

Love,

When men are expected to act like men, they should NEVER participate in a contact sport with women. Better to forfeit the match than to play as they would play against men and risk seriously injuring the women (girls) who they should protect and cherish.

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